A NON-EXTREMIST VEGETARIAN RANT

I wasn’t always a vegetarian. Contrary to popular opinion, not all vegetarians walk around offended at the state of food, rolling their eyes every time they encounter a meatball. In fact, there’s a good chance we used to love it.

Now I’m mostly indifferent to people’s food choices, the same way I’m indifferent to things like Blue Cheese and French Macaroons.

I know all your arguments for meat eating and I get it, that steak at Jacob’s & Co is fucking awesome. I’ve eaten it. I know, that side of bacon is absolutely necessary to complete your plate of brunch. I’ve been there. But now I’m over it and although I hate having to explain myself ALL THE TIME (because you know, it’s SOOO crazy), I will unload some of my thoughts here on how being, and raising a vegetarian doesn’t have anything to do with you.

vegan-sidekick-comic-1.jpg
(LINK to all the rest of these dead-on comics that will have you in stitches)


How it all began:

Up until 2010, I was a full on burger-eating, Bolognese-loving lady with a particular weakness towards the soppressata atop the Natalina pizza at Terroni. What changed my destiny forever was a detox my husband and I took up in hopes of looking fabulous for our wedding that fall. And a YouTube Link.

The detox was a 21-day cleanse that had us living on veggies, fruits, beans and … water. No caffeine. No alcohol. No dairy. Literally the hardest things for me to part with. But as you can guess, we looked and felt incredible afterwards. Light, energetic, HAWT. 

Naturally, after it was over we started reintroducing all the foods back, but we already knew what it felt like to be super duper healthy… so we only bought the best shit out there, including meat. Rowe Farms took all our money and we realized, that for the amount of meat we actually consumed – like maybe once a week – it wasn’t even worth it. We didn’t need it enough.

At about the same time, I came home one night relatively “under the influence” and after scanning Facebook for a few minutes, landed on a link about animal farming. I watched the whole thing. That link lead me to another one, and another… and before I knew it I had gone down the vortex that is the Internet and my husband came home to a woman  sobbing. Because: Animals. 

By Fall 2011, we were officially vegetarian (well, pescatarian anyways… ) and when I had my son four years later, it had become the topic everyone needed to give me their opinion about.

“So… are you gonna give HIM meat?”
I won’t make it. But if he tries it, I won’t implode.

“It’ll make him stronger!”
Lie.

“But what if he likes it?”
He can try it here and there and make his own decisions later.

“So then, what do you give him?”
Fish, shellfish, tofu, veggies, grains, beans, kale, wine, fruit, dairy…  (did you catch that one?)

Don’t worry guys, don’t worry. We will survive. He will be just fine.

14139460_10157402398860707_2132898758_o.jpg“BUT WE MADE BURGERS!” *sips tea*

I won’t get into the nutritional value of not eating meat, or what its replacements might look like because there’s Google for that. But I assure you my son is a healthy and smart kid, so the fish oils are doin’ sumthin. Besides, alternatives are more and more common now and available pretty much anywhere, so really it’s not that big a deal.  Your life won’t end because my kid is not eating meat.

By the way, I’m not super crazy about the dairy industry either and guess what? My son loves drinking cows milk. I’m far from perfect and it’s a work in progress when parenting (toddlers) are involved. I’m in the process of getting him to enjoy other options because the whole thing of drinking another species’ milk  just grosses me out on a multitude of levels. But we’ll save that for another day.

Back to meat, and my little rant…

What pisses me off is when people shove it in my son’s face as a joke aimed at us. 

“Hahahaaa EAT IT OSCAR!” 

Guys seriously? Do I even have to elaborate on this one? If the kid walks up to you and says “Can I try that? What is that?” and you’re holding a leg of lamb, then offer him a bite (after asking me) and move on. Taunting us accomplishes nothing.  My kid is not a spectacle for your entertainment, or an experiment to show me that he likes meat, in an attempt to prove me wrong.

I’m also not a fan when other people make my parenting decisions for me. Like no, I don’t need him to eat a hot dog because YOU think he should. He’ll just be shitting his pants an hour later or worse, throwing up violently all over the fucking place. That’s what happens when a little kid isn’t used to ingesting a wiener that’s made from all the rejected and left over chicken, cow, and pig meat. *Enjoy that episode of ‘How It’s Made’, by the way.

Spoiler:

Finally, and God love ‘em, our immigrant parents who legitimately had a hard time understanding how we could possibly even COOK without meat. They didn’t make it easy at the beginning, but at least now they don’t openly break our balls and only sneak in their beef bourguignon like once a year. We’re working on it.

At TRM, we like to live by the “to each her own” philosophy: I like my fish and my veggies, you eat your ground beef taco. Honestly, I  could care less. But don’t try to make me feel like my son’s missing out. I assure you, his life is pretty damn great and he’s got a lot more than many kids out there, especially on his plate.

Let me do the worrying about him. Trust me; I got this.

xx A

Connect with Aleksandra Jassem on Instagram
Featured image by Sara Antoinette Illustration

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Lo says:

    Yes. Yes. Yes. All of this. It gets exhausting defending a perfectly healthy lifestyle to people!! My veggie kid is thriving on a vegan +eggs and fish diet. My veggie squish is thriving on my vegan mama breast milk. So move on to worrying about real things. Love this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aleksandra says:

      Thank you!! Way better things to worry about than the opinion of misinformed peeps… thanks for the support mama! x

      Like

  2. jenniferelandis says:

    AH! YES! While I am not a vegetarian, I kind of live by the Michael Pollan quote “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” My daughter is 2 and hasn’t really developed a taste for meat. We’ve offered it to her, but she turns it down about 95% of the time. She’s a carb gal (Which I, obviously, respect. Because carbs) but LOVES yogurt, cheese, and eggs. And probably eats through a whole a jar of peanut butter every other week. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve gotten the “But how does she get her protein?” I love this post and kind of want to be your best friend. Not in a weird way though – I promise!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aleksandra says:

      HA! Ok we’re non-weird friends for life then. Sounds like your lil one has an appetite worthy of moving to Italy – just sayin! Thanks for the love. x

      Liked by 1 person

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