February 8, 2011

Meat Cookies

It took me a solid half hour to convince Owen that Fig Newtons weren't made of meat. I've never once mistaken figs for meat. Nor have I ever encountered a meat cookie. But he's three so a) his observatory powers are a little odd and b) he's cute and therefore harder to disagree with even over impossible things (don't get him started on gravity...or particle physics). And since he's three the argument played out something like this:

Owen: These cookies are meat.
Me: Nope. No meat in those cookies.
Owen: Yu-huh. There's meat in there.
Me: Sorry. No meat.
Owen: Meat!
Me: No meat.
Owen: Meat!
Me: No meat!

Finally, after doing that little dance for a while, whilst playing Legos and assembling a bad Darth Vader ship, I managed to convince him that the cookies he was feasting upon were a meat-free treat. He could have just been humoring me.

The thing is? Owen likes meat. It became very clear to me on Sunday as we strolled past the closed Chick Fil-A in the mall and he lamented the fact that he would not be able to consume a chicken.

Beth and I are vegetarians. But we're loathe to force our personal choices on others. Including and especially our children. They are free to eat what they want. (Although we do know full well that the fact that we don't eat meat is an influence in and of itself.) I don't want to consume anything with a face. I don't necessarily think an animal should die so I can eat. I don't support the factor farm system (and I think that a society that consumes animals should respect animals and our farm system is pretty much the total opposite of respect) and I'm not convinced that meat is a necessary part of any diet. But that's just me. And my kids are little human beings with their own brains, own emotions and own opinions.

We're very factual in our responses to the inevitable questions about meat. If you're going to eat meat, you should know where it comes from. But we leave the ultimate decision up to them. They're smart little people and they'll do the right thing. For themselves.

I know I'm biased but meat cookies are still a terrible idea.

What traits or habits do you think your parents most influenced?

Posted by Chris at February 8, 2011 7:16 AM

I used to be a vegetarian and could do so again easily, especially after watching Food Inc.. However, if I did that, the rest of my family would starve to death as I'm the only thing standing between them and a total nutritional black hole. Although I guess you can technically survive on Pringles and "fruit" snacks :)

Posted by: Elizabeth at February 8, 2011 8:46 AM

Tea. I'm a tea sucker. I mean, if things are good I want a cup of tea, if things are bad, I want a cup of tea. I love going to teas. Tea, tea, tea!

Posted by: Maribeth at February 8, 2011 8:50 AM

My dad - love of music and the ability to let something go.
My mom - love of dancing and the inability to let something go.

Posted by: alektra at February 8, 2011 9:43 AM

The adult figures in my life most instilled strong common sense, which is great for getting you through most anything. Second would be understanding how people think and putting myself in their shoes mentally.

As for meat, the opposite is true around KC. I was raised that finding the best BBQ in town is paramount and a treat. I was also taught about cattle, farms, and who provides the freshest, local meat. However, I had salad for dinner and oatmeal and bananas for breakfast so I guess I do maintain balance.

Posted by: Brad at February 8, 2011 9:45 AM

The Man was raised vegetarian, now eats pretty much whatever. He talks with glee about loving it when he'd get invited to his friends house for supper specially when they had hot dogs. I'm not sure when it happened or why, he's eaten meat since I've known him. (23 years now.) I suppose it's a belief system like any other. If it's been imposed upon you as a teen, it's one easy thing to piss parents off. I gave up catholicism, he took up meat.

Wonder if someone took Owen the Chick-fil-A...

As for traits from my parents... hmmmm... apparently stubborn comes from my dad's side.

Posted by: Nat at February 8, 2011 9:53 AM

Traits? This made me laugh. Sometimes when feeling particularly verbose my husband will accuse me talking "all like Shakespeare and shit". I used get mad at my mom for talking all like Shakespeare and shit.

Posted by: meanie at February 8, 2011 11:54 AM

I feel the same way about eating meat and the factory farm system, but I can't seem to stop. :( *sigh*

Posted by: Jess at February 8, 2011 12:13 PM

My mom always made everything from scratch. To this day, I won't buy jarred marinara or tv dinners or chef boyardee. It just wasn't done so I think it's gross. My husband and son disagree. So, clearly, I'm having very little influence on MY child!

Posted by: Robyn at February 8, 2011 1:09 PM

WICKER! When I was growing up my mother had TONS of wicker. Today she says it was because it was cheap and affordable - I think she just liked how it looked. Look in my own home and guess what? You'll find NO wicker. Also my mother HATED the idea of having anything other than "real" food at meal times. She still freaks if I take the kids out for an ice cream supper in the summer every once in awhile.

Posted by: Randi at February 8, 2011 1:28 PM

I love tea and hate wicker, and refuse to say that bread is "evil". It's FOOD Mom, food is morally neutral! :P

Posted by: Heather at February 8, 2011 3:38 PM

Saw this and thought of you. A new way of thinking about meat, perhaps?


Posted by: Tera at February 8, 2011 3:56 PM

Because I'm mean like that - after that conversation, and after I'd explained that there is no such thing as meat cookies, I would serve up mince meat and/or nut meat cookies. "Meat cookies."

From my parents: both of them, I got an intense love of music. From my mom, I find a pair of pants that fit nice and I buy. them. in. every. color. available. From my dad, I got a "give me a minute and I can figure out how to fix/build that - no, I don't need the stupid directions." And, he taught me critical thinking and common sense, so most of the time, I can.

Posted by: Mindy at February 8, 2011 4:12 PM

I get the whole Fig Newton meat thing; they look vaguely like a cartoon version of a leg of lamb, with the white fat around the meat. I have a half memory somewhere of thinking something familiar. And I do think he was just humoring you ;)

I think we should make our factory farming respectful, or genetically engineer our foodstocks to not have brains; there has actually been a great deal of success in growing meat without needing the host animal; I imagine that we'll have massive warehouse sized slabs of meat at some point.

I ( thankfully ) did not pick up the diet of my parents, but the older I get the more I am finding I have my father's mannerisms, and occasionally sound exactly like my mother.

Posted by: metawizard2 at February 8, 2011 5:21 PM

I grew up with a typical Aussie diet of meat and three vege, day in day out. Treats were in the form of home baked goodies and occasionally, very occasionally some chocolate. Chocolate was rationed out at 2 squares per person per night until the block was consumed. I blame my chocolate addiction entirely upon my childhood restrictions. Now I devour an entire family block of chocolate in a sitting and go looking for more. There really must be some chocolate hidden around here somewhere...

Posted by: del at February 9, 2011 1:54 AM

I agree with you in the sense that your kids are their own person who ultimately will make their own choices in life. But if feeding them a vegetarian diet is forcing your ideas into them, then feeding them meat forces your ideas into them too.
It's good that you tell them where meat comes from and that in order for them to be able to eat meat, an animal will have had to die.
At the end of the day, what you want to share with them is your values (I'm guessing respect, compassion, tolerance etc.), there are many ways to apply those values in everyday life, being vegetarian is one (very good) way but it is not the only way :)
My husband and I are vegan. We don't have kids so I don't really know what I am talking about, but I do hope that our kids can get something good from growing up vegan. Even if they end up not being vegan. (but deeply I hope they will)

Posted by: Alejandra at February 9, 2011 8:52 AM

Meat cookies do, in fact, exist. I dated a woman who'd make shortbread cookies with bacon fat and little bits of bacon in the dough. She'd roll it out and then use a little piggy-shaped cookie cutter.

While I never had one, to this meat-eater, they sound...interesting. Problem is I love baking cookies and this seems a little too far over the edge, even for me.

Posted by: Foggy Dew at February 9, 2011 1:07 PM

Mmmmmm. Mince-meat cookies.

Posted by: Leilani at February 9, 2011 10:17 PM

When I was growing up, we rarely had anything fried. About twice a year mom would fry shrimp and cornbread, and we'd experience fried chicken at family reunions and such. But my dad had horrible ulcers, so we just never ate fried foods. Unfortunately for me, I cannot fry chicken or fish. Seriously, you wouldn't think that would be difficult. I just cannot seem to do it well. And even today, I don't eat a lot of fried food.

Posted by: mmpotter at February 9, 2011 10:22 PM

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Posted by: Lancel at November 18, 2011 3:21 AM