One of my greatest joys in parenthood is watching my children develop interests and passions of their own. All four of our children have what our pediatrician refers to as “big personalities,” so there is no shortage of passion here. Even if we tried to direct it, I’m not sure we could, and each time it bursts forth from one child or another, I feel like I’ve just gotten to unwrap another Christmas gift. I get a real glimpse at where my child’s heart is, and the wonder and awe that this child whom I have the privilege of shepherding through life has his or her own unique convictions and excitements and passions – and that I have a front row seat to witnessing them – is glorious.
One of Miranda’s latest passions is vegetarianism. As a family, we have been almost entirely pescetarian since shortly after Matt’s heart attack. For several months now, though, Miranda has been entirely vegetarian. She was never really a huge fan of fish, anyway, and while the rest of us have always made occasional brief forays into the carnivorous culture in which we exist (primarily related to social gatherings), Miranda abstains from meat entirely.
I remember very clearly sitting on the couch one morning, doing our history reading, and looking at pictures of Vikings carrying in animal carcasses in preparation for a feast. The meat-to-be looked so very…animal-like. I believe that was the moment that solidified it all in her mind with finality. She would not be consuming meat.
Since then, our conversations about vegetarianism generally go something like this:
- Miranda: I will not eat meat! It is mean to kill animals for food and eat them!
- Me: I respect that conviction, and we’ll honor that. You don’t have to eat meat.
- Miranda: No one should eat meat! If anyone eats meat, they should be killed!
- Me: So…you think it’s evil to kill animals?
- Miranda: Yes!
- Me: So evil that anyone who eats an animal should be killed?
- Miranda: Yes!
- Me: Doesn’t that seem a bit ironic to you?
- Miranda: No. Why would that be ironic?
- Me: Well, you’re advocating for killing people, because you’re protesting that they are killing animals. If you value the lives of animals, do you think maybe we should also value the lives of people?
- Miranda, looking at me as if that proposal is the most ridiculous thing she’s ever heard: No.
There you have it, my friends. Miranda Grace, the ultimate intensifier, has spoken. She is a vegetarian, and the rest of us are supposed to follow her lead – or else.
Either that, or I need to keep working with her on developing some sense of moderation and respect for others’ convictions and the ethical gray areas of life 😉