As a vegetarian nanny, the topics of food, and why I don’t eat meat, often come up during meal time with the kids. I find this hard to answer because children don’t necessarily understand the complexities of how our food, meat especially, is produced, they don’t understand the health problems facing adults today, and mostly, I don’t want to offend their parent’s meal choices for their children.
When talking to the kids I generally follow this script: “Well, I used to eat meat, but I don’t anymore because I don’t care for it and it is not the healthiest choice for me. I prefer to eat lots and lots of fruits and vegetables because they make me big and strong.” Satisfies the kids, satisfies the parents.
So today, my generic answers didn’t cut it for this three year old girl as she asked me where the prosciutto comes from. I told her it comes from a pig. She says but the pig is already dead so it isn’t hurt (we talk about hurting other animals and people from time to time). I say someone killed the pig so we could eat the prosciutto. So the she wants to see a video of how it is made from the killing of the pig to the making of the prosciutto. Given she doesn’t completely understand death, I find a (very boring) video on how the prosciutto is made from the already cut meat (youtube is a great educational tool). She however is still not satisfied with this and insists on watching a video of the pig dying. Finally I refocus her energy on eating, and as her mother walks in, with a mouth full of prosciutto, she tells her mother “first you die the pig, the pig is dead!”
Meat eating kids: 1 Vegetarian nanny: 0