I have gone WAAAAY out of my way to make sure the decision was Alexis'. To eat meat or not to eat meat, it's her call.
I, for one, have been a vegetarian for . . . um . . . twenty . . . TWENTY! OMFG TWENTY! years. (GET OFF MY LAWN, WHIPPERSNAPPERS.) It's not a Save the Animals Thing or Animals are Our Friends Thing or anything like that. It's more of an EWWWW! I Don't Want to Eat That! sort of thing. I just plain don't like the taste of meat. I also don't like the idea of eating something that might have been mooing and pooping and munching on heaven knows what a few weeks prior. It's kind of gross, if you think about it.
The husband, however, is an omnivore. He's on his own if he wants dead animal when we're eating at home because HELLO! I don't know how to prepare decapitated birds or bovine or swine. That usually means he eats meat maybe once per week, and usually only when we eat out.
So, really, there haven't been all that many opportunities for Alexis to chow down on some chicken or whatever. It has always been her choice, but with a slant towards it being almost, sort of, kind of impossible.
Recently she has become mature enough to realize that her friends at school are eating different chicken nuggets than the ones she usually has in her lunch bag (she gets Morningstar faux nuggets when we pack her lunch). She started to ask about it all, so I gave her a generic explanation. I essentially told her that there were chicken nuggets that were made out of chickens and there were some made out of plants. I like the plant ones, but she can eat whichever ones she wants.
That conversation, of course, wandered into the land of What Is Hamburger? and Where Does Bacon Come From? and all of that fun stuff. I didn't really know what she thought of the whole thing as it was pretty much a factual conversation devoid of any opinions from either of us.
Fast forward a few weeks. We were driving down the road, on our way to dance class, when a bunch of deer crossed the road in front of us. Alexis, of course, started shouting, "LOOK! DEER!" She finds the car-destroying, garden-munching monsters to be fascinating.
Mr. Husband, because he likes to torture me, was all about being obnoxious. He started saying things like, "Mmmmm . . . Tasty Deer!" and "They look delicious." Like I said, obnoxious.
Alexis was totally and completely indigant. She began to yell at Mr. Husband, lecturing him about how it wasn't nice to eat deer. She went on and on and on and on and on . . .
Fast forward again. This evening Alexis and I drove past some cows on our way home. She, of course, was all sorts of excited and started yelling, "LOOK! COWS!" She's very predictable in her observations. Truly.
Once she was done telling me what I had already seen, she went on to ask, "Hamburger is made from cows, isn't it?"
I confirmed her recollection.
She went silent.
She stayed silent for a full minute and then began to SOB. Choking on her tears, she screeched out, "It's not nice of daddy to eat cows."
I guess we know where she stands on the whole To Eat Meat or Not To Eat Meat thing.