After 11 years of eating a high maintenance, limited child’s array of chicken nuggets, burgers, hot dogs and pizza, my child has gone vegan. It started with research about health risks for a few selective, yet horrible diseases and it is evolving at a fast clip. For the past two days the ethical reasons for plant based living have been shoved in our face. We Harringtons enjoy our impromptu soapboxes and this kid is passionate.
Liam: “When do you think daddy will go vegan?”
Me: “Maybe, don’t push it aggressively in his face every minute of the day.”
Liam: “It SHOULD be pushed into his face. It should be pushed into everyone’s face. It is MURDER. It is torture to animals. It is killing animals brutally. It is inhumane in every way. The concept is already inhumane but they make it far far worse by the brutal torture. Eating meat is bad. Every bite increases your risk of death from all causes. From ALL CAUSES! Replacing red and processed meats with anything else. ANYTHING else reduces your risk of death from ALL CAUSES. The World Health Organization has determined that red and processed meat are a class 1 carcinogens.
AND, it is bad for the environment. especially if you live in California. We are the midst of a serious DROUGHT and the number one way to conserve water? DON’T EAT MEAT!”
A few days later we went to a restaurant that could cater to vegans and meat eaters alike. Sutton had been vegan for a week but then caved for this one meal. Liam couldn’t handle it.
Sutton: “I am done.”
Liam: “No kidding you’re done. You are done sharing the planet with anyone. You are DESTROYING the planet.”
Once Liam had finished eating he went around and cleaned up other people’s litter. He is on a mission. No question. And, his motive is compassion and kindness to the planet and all living things.
That is a snapshot into what many moments in our day are like. He is my mirror. I, too, espouse an all encompassing fervor when passionate about newfound healthy discoveries. I went vegetarian when I was around the same age but I wasn’t nearly as well rounded in my reasoning as he is. His research is always quite thorough when interested in something and he applies his neoteric knowledge with zeal. It is rubbing off on me. It can’t not when I am flooded with lectures and emails containing videos that conjure up Sinclair’s, The Jungle.
I am game. I am in the midst of my vegan journey. I am paying attention and it makes sense. As soon as we learn more we need to make better decisions. Our favorite past time is deconstructing healthy decision making across all areas of conscientious living.
Liam finally showed Sutton the carnism video that he shared with me which definitely affected and solidified my vegan views. That sealed the deal for Sutton. He was quick to get on his soapbox and spread knowledge to his daddy, the only non vegan in the house.
Sutton: “Daddy, do you care about the environment? Do you care about animals? Why is it okay for people to hunt and kill animals but it isn’t okay for humans to kill humans? You are killing animals who have the intelligence of a three year old. You are basically killing a bunch of three year olds so you can have a burrito. The point I am trying to make is go vegan for Pete’s sake. If you love animals then BE VEGAN.”
Liam: “Preach it brother. Tell him about colorectal cancer, non alcoholic fatty liver disease and testicular cancer.”
Shaun: “This is audio assault…you will be very happy to know that I haven’t had any meat today.”
Liam: “Good. Keep that up.”
While reenacting the death of a baby pig with Lego Hero Factory, Sutton: “…and then humans go and eat what was once a little helpless baby pig. SMASH! Anyone in this house who isn’t vegan will be punished.”
Shaun: “You guys should YouTube about this. I am sure a lot of people would like to hear what you have to say.”
Me: “You should. How many kids are atheist, vegan, radical unschoolers living such an alternative life. Spread the knowledge about liberated thinking. Don’t worry about the haters.”
Shaun:” I got three haters right here next to me.”
Liam: “Daddy, can you try at least one vegan meal?”
Shaun: “I eat a lot of vegan meals. I am going to eat pasta soon which is vegan and the bran muffins I eat are vegan.”
Sutton: “Daddy, you need to go full vegan and stop eating animals.”
Liam: “Humans are just herbivores in denial. We have been conditioned to believe that cats and dogs are pets and some other animals can be consumed. Our bodies were not designed to eat meat. Did you know that a sedentary vegan is still healthier than a runner who is a carnivore. It is crazy that people put so may toxins in their body. It doesn’t make sense. It is like trying to open an .exe file on a Mac.”
Shaun: “All you guys are going to do is…”
Me: “…live long, healthy lives?”
The hubs will get there. It will take him some time but chances are he won’t survive living with us much longer without having to go vegan…eventually. We are striving to be better; to do better. Conditioned thinking is easy for us to shed once we become knowledgeable. Our entire lifestyle is based on transformative thinking and compassionate, mindful living. When new information floods us, we react. We transform. We just keep adding more depth to what enlightened living means.
The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man.
—Charles Darwin, English naturalist
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