February 17, 2010

The Return of Veggie Girl

Last Friday, my youngest sister's boyfriend popped in for a surprise visit.

I was making spaghetti. Usually, I dump a whole mess of meat into the sauce so as to satisfy my protein-starved Aspie. My sister, however, is vegetarian and keeps a vegetarian home. So I asked her boyfriend if he was okay with the meat. (That wasn't just the hospitality talking, either. He was shoveling out the back end of my driveway, so I was super motivated to be nice.)

Now, my diva is my Veggie Girl. She gets googly-eyed over brussels sprouts, does the happy dance when it's cauliflower for dinner, and has begged me to buy spinach. She even likes lima beans. Canned lima beans. Seriously.

She wanted to know why her aunt is a vegetarian.

My family is chock full of vegetarians, and each one of them has his or her own reason for eschewing meat. In my immediate family, they don't believe killing animals is a necessary or desirable thing. They don't wear leather, they use animal-friendly products. They live what they believe.

My daughter doesn't like hurting animals either.

My daughter is now a vegetarian.

I'm incredibly proud of her.  Because she figured out for herself what she believes in. Because she's trying to live it. And because she's 8. This is pretty big for 8.

And she's embraced it. This formerly picky eater has already tried mushroom burgers, raw almonds, soy nuts, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries and organic yogurt (after she learned her favorite brand is made with gelatin). She's reached out to family and friends for tips on how to make this work. She's learning about nutrition and diet and why conviction and commitment matter.

She's going veggie until March 8, and then she'll see if she wants to keep it up. I think she will. But either way? My Veggie Girl has more than earned her cape.

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