New York Times essay on sensitivity, vegetarianism, and contradictions

Yesterday I was excited to have my first essay in The New York Times. The piece is on my daughter’s choice to become a vegetarian at 4, the complexity of moral choices, and the special contradictions they can present for the very young. Since I wrote this essay some months ago, it’s interesting for me to notice how much her moral complexity has actually evolved in that time (no more crying over bugs!) Apparently, food can be fairly divisive, so the comments section at times has been a bit of a sparring ground between vegetarians and non, although my piece isn’t  prescriptive of any one lifestyle other than one where acceptance is practiced and differences, emotional and otherwise, allowed. It’s been interesting reading though, some of it very thoughtful, and it’s been particularly fascinating for me to hear from adults who made similar choices at a young age–some of whom followed very different paths. Check it out on the New York Times site here. And feel free to add to the already rollicking discussion. 

One thought on “New York Times essay on sensitivity, vegetarianism, and contradictions

  1. I think you seem like a wonderful parent. I just wanted to let you know that I chose to become a vegetarian at the age of three. My grandfather owned a livestock yard, and needless to say my midwestern parents had no idea what to do with me. I was the only vegetarian child in my grade until I reached high school and in addition, was the only bi-racial and only adopted child as well. While bullying was a bit of an issue, in the end I think it only made my convictions stronger; I passed out pamphlets to the other children at school about famous vegetarians and applied for grants to have computer alternative dissections in science class (all before the age of 12). With the support of my parents I had a well adjusted normal childhood: captain of the cheerleading squad, exec position on student council, etc. I am now 28 years old, still a vegetarian, and the president of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund at my Law School, where I am studying Elder law and Estate Planning. My mother taught me that having different and unique views can be an asset in life, and showed me how to use my compassion to fuel my life in a positive manner. I just wanted to share this with you because I feel that your daughter will also grow up to be an amazing woman that you will be very proud of.

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