October 18, 2010 at 2:53 pm 7 comments

This is my friend Tish.

She has two adorable boys, Q and T.

Tish and I have been friends since we were 7 years old. For the last 8 years we have kept in touch virtually as she lives in about 6 hours away.

Tish is married to Shane. When I first met them as a couple, they were very strict vegans. When I say strict, I mean strict. Tish would make the guy at Starbucks clean his milk foamer spout before he made her soy latte for fear that some animal milk may not have been wiped off properly.

Tish went through two vegan pregnancies (did you know that After Eights are vegan?).

When her children were born, Tish began reintroducing animal products into their diet, though the family remained vegetarian. Recently, things changed. Below, I share with you a transcript of our recent Facebook conversation which began when I commented on Tish’s status.

As thoughtful and conscientious as Tish is about food, she gladly shares her inner struggle with you. She and I would both love to know your thoughts on this.

via Facebook:

Tish may “Grampy’s meatball” recipe live on! After 12 years, I just made them again. Yes, that’s right. Vegetarian no longer. September 18 at 7:46pm

Tish T in bed with his Batman face paint still on. Should be a fun morning tomorrow. Q, after trying Grampy’s meatballs “Mom, I sure am happy I was named after him, he sure knows how to cook!” T, “Mom, I still want to be a vegetarian” September 19 at 9:12pm

Tish planning Thanksgiving dinner at our place. Buying ethical meat is pricier than tofu. Just sayin’ October 6 at 7:17pm

Tish um, just picked up the turkey – having second thoughts. May be back to my old ways after Sunday. October 8 at 2:06pm

Liisa (comment on Tish’s status)

    • It was turkey that did me in… After seeing a movie with a turkey farm I thought i could never eat a bird again.Last week, after I saw your change of heart, I ate a piece of chicken cause the sauce smelled good and I thought maybe I was ready(??)… But I don’t think I’ll be doing it again for a very long time. 

      Good luck this weekend!

      October 8 at 8:29pm

Tish (private message to me) October 9 at 2:14am

I didn’t realize you were still a veg. I am totally grossed out by the turkey in my fridge. Grossed out in a “I should know better” kinda way. Kinda struggling with it at the moment but I must admit I have enjoyed not having a “label” and being able to enjoy socially along with others this past month. A friend of mine suggested the flexitarian diet. Do what you want when you want…I like this idea. T will be a vegetarian for life I think, Q is enjoying a little chicken, hasn’t tried anything else…ack, Do your boys eat meat? How do you deal with that? Just trying to open up dialogue…fill me in on your thoughts if you get a minute.
Liisa October 9 at 10:04pm
Hi – just want you to know I’m TOTALLY NOT judging you!I just wish I could eat the meat, but it just grosses me out. I’m okay with the boys eating it. I rarely prepare it. I actually went to Supperworks (do you have that in your town) and made a bunch of meat dishes there so I wouldn’t have to spend too much time at home doing meat prep. 

The boys do eat a lot of veg meals at home. They love lentils and beans.

I’ve actually reconciled myself to occasionally putting meat on my lips to taste something or test the temperature… like the other day i made chicken noodle soup with a leftover bbq chicken and I tasted a drop to make sure it had the right flavour.

I consider that the sacrifice for my boys… just like wiping their snot.

But truly, I never liked meat, even as a kid. So… I think it’s just something I’m stuck with.

I DO think it would be more convenient. And, if I’m ever in the mood to eat chicken or my mom’s chili (which I ate twice when I was pregnant with lil C) or something, I will. But I just don’t think it will happen again soon.

I think the turkey will be a good barometer for you. Let me know how it goes.

BTW, what about Shane?? Wasn’t he vegan at one point too?

Tish October 12 at 10:28am
Hey Liis, thanks for the note. I like the way you write – just like reading your blog. Made me laugh when you said it’s a sacrifice just like wiping their snot! Yes, Shane was a vegan for a while. We both were for 7 years and then started back with dairy and eggs and now starting back with meat. We started the journey together 13 years ago and have come back to eating meat together now. The journey has changed along the way for us. We used to be so strict and now are faced with other challenges in terms of eating responsibly/locally which is also a challenge at times. As you know being an example for kids makes you think about everything in a different way. So long as we continue to do our best and have thought behind our choices I think we are teaching them the right thing. Don’t worry – I didn’t think you were judging me. Sometimes it’s nice to chat with others who are conscious of the same things. The turkey turned out actually. It was a gong show when I was getting it ready though and had some full on gags. Shane and I both were disgusted at times but also enjoyed the meal at the same time. Now it’s turkey soup for dinner tonight with left overs!
Hugs to you,
So – there you have it – does anyone else struggle with this like Tish and I do??

Entry filed under: nutrition, Parenting. Tags: , .

How Could They Let That Happen to Themselves? Nanny A’s Story The Last 10 Days in Baking

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tracey  |  October 18, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    Firstly-I always thought Tisha( Tish now?) was the prettiest girl in our class in elementary school. She hasn’t really changed-still just as pretty.

    My brother is a 6’2, 200 lb guy who has been vegetarian, now trying vegan, for the last year or so. He and I discuss the why’s and how’s quite frequently. His reasons are purely ethical. We grew up eating meat. He chooses not to eat meat because of the way it is grown/farmed and the way the animals are treated. This is what is also propelling his veganism. He’s a die hard animal lover and after watching various movies and researching practices-he can’t bring himself to eat meat any longer. He has also studied NOT eating meat in depth,and on any given day could tell me his protein count for the day. I think he’s choosing intellectually and for his own causes.

    I am in the other camp. I eat meat, always have, always will. I see animals, for the most part, being put on earth for us to eat. Yes, I’m opposed to the way some are farmed-though I don’t think you can brush broad strokes on the whole operation because of some/certain farms. I also think Canada is slightly more vigilant than the USA-where a lot of these films and reports originate.

    I see that meat grosses you out to touch/look at etc. I guess what I’m more curious about is-WHY are you a vegetarian/vegan? Why is it okay for your boys to eat meat-but not you? If you believe you shouldn’t eat meat because of farming or ethical practice-shouldn’t that go for your whole family? If you believe it contains hormones and chemicals/pesticides-wouldn’t you want to protect your WHOLE family from that? I guess that’s what I don’t understand-and I’m not being facetious or pointing fingers. Honestly, just seeking clarification.

    That said, in my home, we try to eat fish 2x a week, and a vegetarian meal one day a week. (admittedly usually pasta of some sort) The other days are usually meat based. I try to buy locally and organically when I can-though that’s not always possible. I wash all my meat before preparing (I’ve had friends work at stores and trust me-wash your meat first or rinse with vinegar/salt and water). Both my girls like meat, though neither are huge eaters to begin with…..If they wanted to be vegetarian, I’d support them in it, providing they had done the legwork to create a healthy diet.

    • 2. fitforakid  |  October 18, 2010 at 9:08 pm

      Tracey – I think my reasons are an instinctual or gut reaction to some of all of the above. However, I do believe humans are meant to be omnivores so most people do best eating a diet with some meat. I have to take several supplements in order to keep my vitamin and mineral levels normal and that, to me, indicates that I might do better eating meat, but I just can’t stomach it. Like your brother, I could also tell you my protein count at any given moment on any given day – today I’m at 59 g; this means I’ll be having a protein shake for evening snack (I usually aim for at least 80g though ideally I should be over 100g)

      I stopped eating lamb and veal around the age of 11 when I realized they were baby animals. It went from there to red meat at the age of 12 and went off and on white meat until 2001 when I stopped completely.

      It’s not purely ethical, though I have seen enough documentaries to turn me off the meat industry.

      It’s not necessarily for health reasons, as the rest of my family does not eat all that much meat so exposure to harmful additives and chemicals is limited, and, if it were more extensive, I could buy exclusively organic meat.

      It’s really a mix of all that, and the fact that I can’t bear the thought of eating flesh of land-dwelling animals. I don’t yet have the same aversion to fish or seafood.

      Hope that answers your question.

  • 3. Krista  |  October 18, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    I hate to say that we are a meat eating family! However with saying this I will also say that we only buy our meat from local farmers who actually have their cattle near us so we see them out in the fields and not locked up in a barn being pumped with hormones and whatever else. To be honest with you buying from local farmers is so much better then buying organic from the grocery store, and much cheaper. I know where my meat comes from and what is going into it before I get it to my home. There are local farmers with ethical farms everywhere, just pick up any small town newspaper and you’ll find them from beef to chicken to pork and even lamb. I’ve fought for 15 years about taking the advice of my neurologist to follow a strictly vegetarian diet but my husband is a meat eater and he will never change being one either so I eat meat, not much mind you but some of some sort every supper.

    All in all my suggestion is to just stay away from the grocery store meats and buy from local farmers, a lot of time it’s much cheaper too like the last time we got an order of beef we only paid $2 a pound for every cut of meat! Pretty good deal compared to the factory grown meat in the grocery store!

    It all boils down to how you feel about the choices you make in life and what you choose to put in your mouth, maybe say a thankful prayer with the kids to the animal that gave itself to you to eat, that worked with my kids!

    • 4. fitforakid  |  October 18, 2010 at 8:48 pm

      Krista – Funny you should send this about local farmers. I just got an email today offering beef for sale from a local farm. I am considering it – just waiting for a price list. As far as beef goes, in the house the majority consumed is ground beef in burgers, meatballs, and meat sauce. My mom bought about a dozen organic free range chickens this year. I’m gonna get a few the next time they order too.

  • 5. Tish  |  October 19, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Tracey – So nice to read such a lovely comment about me. 🙂 Thanks!

    So far I have been buying meat at local butchers and asking where the meat comes from how it is raised etc. I look for product that is antibiotic/hormone free, vegetable grain fed and free range. Grocery store meat can be misleading when it is stamped with a sticker labeling it organic and free range – this is still factory farmed meat. Which practices much cruelty. If this is a concern for you then buying from a local butcher or farm is your best bet. When I buy fish I try to get wild and from Canada. I, like your brother Tracey was a vegetarian mainly because I wanted to take a stand against the cruelty and environmentally it just made sense. The health benefits were a bonus! I still think it’s the best choice for all but realize at this point that a little in my diet is a good thing and it is alot easier in terms of convenience. Happy to see some comments on the post!

  • 6. Lynn  |  October 20, 2010 at 2:56 am

    We struggle with this too – my husband was raised vegetarian and when we got married, I agreed to go vegetarian too. We wanted to raise our children vegetarian but our oldest turned out to be allergic to eggs, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, and lentils…so…that DOES make it hard :).

    Now we are a chicken and turkey eating family, and we are flirting with the idea of introducing fish. My husband still abstains but the kids and I indulge. It’s an ongoing debate, though…we still try to eat vegetarian at least three times a week and maybe someday we’ll get back there.

  • 7. Stefania (Ingredients for Life)  |  November 1, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    I’ve been having this internal debate for a while. I’m a vegetarian. I think of myself as a pseudo-vegan since I eat very little amounts of dairy and eggs. Lately though I’ve been thinking about why I’m vegetarian and does it make sense to consume a product that is highly processed (say soy) over a glass of milk. Then I think about farming practices and health problems, which makes me reach for the soy drink.
    I don’t like heated debates about food. I always say eat what your body needs. However, I think people need to educate themselves about their food and food choices. This is based on my own nutrition studies.
    We all come to vegetarianism differently. I love reading people’s experiences, struggles and lessons. I would love to see more people eating plant-based foods. Of course, doing so is better for the environment but also because it’s good for our bodies.At the end of the day though, a quality cut of meat is always better than filling one’s body with highly processed vegetarian food. There is a lot of vegetarian junk out there, but there’s some really good and affordable food (think beans, produce, etc).
    Thanks to you both for your honesty.


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