When I was in second grade, my teacher had us hatch eggs. No, we didn’t sit on them – that would be too silly. She brought in an incubator and lights and after a long time (at least it seemed that way to us), most of the eggs hatched. We were of course thrilled with the little yellow puff-balls, and all of us claimed that we would be able to bring at least one of them home with us when they were old enough.
I don’t remember how I managed to talk my parents into it, but somehow I did, and I got to bring home two of those sweet little chicks. We let them hang around the backyard, and at night my Dad had made a cage for them in the basement. It was my job to feed and clean up after them, and it was one of my favorite things to do. It was great fun to sit down and let them climb all over me. Then, I discovered that the two hens that we thought we had were in fact a hen and a rooster. We named the hen Lucy; she was a noisy little beast and was always squawking at the rooster, who we named Charlie Brown (he was just a little bit hen-pecked).
All went well for a while, but then Charlie Brown discovered that he could crow. And crow he did. All the time. And, that was the end of my clucking and crowing pets. My Mom had a friend who lived on a farm and that’s where Lucy and Charlie Brown ended up.
But, a funny thing happened after this pet interlude. I couldn’t eat chicken anymore. I would spit it into my napkin and give it to the dog who always sat under the table at my feet. This was added to the fact that I had never been able to eat lamb; that also was given to the dog; and do I have to mention liver? I had a very well-fed dog. So, at the age of 8 I wanted to stop eating meat. This didn’t go over well in my family, so I simply continued to spit it out in my napkin, and became a champion salad and veggie eater.
Then life went on, and I started to eat meat again (although never lamb, veal or liver), thinking that “someday” I would tackle this moral issue and do something about it. About 15 years ago I did do something about it and became a vegetarian. I made my family also become vegetarian. This didn’t work out well. I no longer have a screen door on my back door, and my husband and son now eat meat. But, my daughter is a vegetarian, and I’m now a vegan. And, I’m happy to report that the amount of meat that my husband and son eat has decreased dramatically, and when my son is able to move out; my husband will be eating even less meat. A fact that is so far unknown to him. He’ll find out given time…if he even notices. All he ever wants is food that tastes good.
I often feel badly that it took me so long to realize that I could change my eating habits, but I have and that’s a good thing. And, I hate that my husband and son do eat meat, but they eat less and less of it all the time. It’s been a long journey to get to this point, and hopefully more and more people will follow along. Vegan food is so good, and I’ve learned how to cook so many new things. Life is a process and the road is long and winding. I’m just glad it’s led me to this new lifestyle.