10 December 2009

A surefire cure for vegetarianism

When Sarah was in third grade, she had a brief flirtation with vegetarianism. I never got the full story, but something she'd encountered during a science lesson had made her reconsider her love of beef.

Although I am not a vegetarian, I have vegetarian leanings, and so, I agreed to indulge this, provided she broadened her diet to include more — read, any — beans and nuts, to compensate for the loss of animal proteins.

After about two weeks, during which she had consumed one almond and looked in askance at a pinto bean, I had had enough. So over a steak dinner during which she ate potatoes and pushed vegetables around her plate, I raised the steaks stakes, issuing a fatwa declaring that she could continue on this path as long as she liked, but until she began to consume more protein, there would be no more sweets. "Please pass the steak," she replied, and proceeded to eat the rest of us under the table.

I had to employ a similar strategy when Sarah asked if we could have chicken for dinner tonight. No, we could not, because we were having bibimbap. Today was a particularly efficient day of housewifery, and the beef had been marinating all afternoon. Sarah's brow creased as she explained that she could not possibly eat this, because the last time I made it, she had noticed some cow parts in the beef, and it had grossed her out.

Rather than note the flaws in her logic — that beef is cow parts, or she had prefaced this by asking for chicken — I stated that if it was too troubling to her, she could eat rice for dinner, and skip dessert. 

Problem solved.

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