Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving in October. Last weekend, in fact.
So our family was getting ready to have a big feast. While my son likes ripping up the bread to help stuff the turkey and loves making our easy pumpkin pie, he was having a change of heart about actually eating the turkey dinner.
While not really knowing what a vegetarian is, or the politics behind it (he hasn't seen these PETA ads), he's just come out against eating animals.
I picked him up from school last week clutching his paper turkey with feathers showing all the things he's thankful for. He loves his brother and sister and mother and fish and friends. And, while not on the list, he's developed a huge love of Mother Nature.
When we went camping this summer, he asked if he could "play hide and seek with nature" because "I just love nature so much, Daddy."
So when I picked him up I was only half surprised when he blurted from the back seat,"I don't want to eat anything from nature, Daddy. And animals are part of Mother Nature. I don't want to make her upset."
Then again the other morning.
"Why do people kill turkey?" he asked.
"To eat," I told him. "We eat meat to get our protein and energy."
"Well, I'm never eating an animal," he scowled.
"Where does steak come from?" I asked knowing he likes it.
"Trees!!" my wife yelled from across the room. She doesn't like to know where animals come from or how we get meat. To her, roasted chickens grow on trees.
"You're wrong," he moped. "It comes from an animal."
It's not a hard fast rule for him yet; he had chicken strips for dinner last night, but he's getting there. Order a 'hot dog' for him at a restaurant or when we're out and he'll correct you. "I only eat veggie dogs, Daddy. Hot dogs give me diarrhea." Which is true, that did happen once.
So dinners from now on should be interesting, as my kid thinks he's a vegetarian and begins to blaze his own trail in the world, not totally certain of the reasons why, but certain nonetheless.
-By Buzz Bishop