Friday, February 11, 2011

The hunter becomes the hunted (ok, not really)

I'm a strange sort of vegetarian.  Technically I can't even claim to be a vegetarian since I eat fish.  In SF they can be militant about that, up here in Seattle seems like most vegetarians feast upon the flesh of the fish.  In fact, they call my brand of near vegetarianism being a "Seattle Vegetarian" here in Seattle, which amuses me to no end.  That point aside, I'm even odd for a fish-eating vegetarian because I'll cook meat for the kids and Mr. Dog.  I didn't used to, but somehow over time this is how it has evolved. Let's just say love can make you do strange things.
Take tonight for example, I roasted a chicken.  Little Dog had swim class so I got Mr. Dog to preheat he oven while I was picking Big Dog up from school.  I popped into the kitchen long enough to put the chicken into a roasting pan with some tiny potatoes, sprinkle it with salt, add some herbs and a lemon or two and pop it in the oven to cook while my little one was learning to swim.
While I did the prep Little Dog supervised.
"What is that?" he asked, since meat is not a common enough occurrence in our house for him to be up to speed on all the shapes and sizes.
"It's a chicken," I said as I tucked the two halves of the lemon into the poor bird's nether regions.
"Is it dead?" he asked as he took a closer look.
"Well I sure hope so, because it's about to go into the oven.  And from what I hear they're a lot tastier that way," I offered, praying that he wouldn't choose to dwell on this now since this was his dinner.
Little Dog thought that over and pointed to the wing. "Well, what's that?"
"That's the wing.  See all of the feathers have been removed," I offered, hoping he'd not make an emotional connection to the chickens in our yard (or maybe hoping he would so I could turn my little meat-eater into a Seattle Vegetarian like his mom).
"Did a chicken hunter kill it?" he asked, curiosity in his voice but none of the emotional notes that would have made me rethink his dinner.
I paused.  How do I answer.  Technically, no, I mean, I don't really think there are chicken hunters. But kind of.  So I took the easy route, partly because the title cracked me up.
"Yes.  A chicken hunter killed it," I said as I popped the pan in the oven and ushered my boy out of the kitchen on our way to the YMCA for class.
"I love chicken hunters," he said matter-of-factly.
"Really?" not quite sure why he'd love or hate the hunters of poultry.
"Yes, they get us tasty tasty chickens!"
And out the window went my hopes of conversion.  At least I get to giggle about the chicken hunters, right?

On a side note, I know it is odd to cook meat when you are a vegetarian.  Mr. Dog is not a vegetarian.  I do most of the cooking for the family.  Most of the time there is no meat on our table.  Occasionally there is.  When there is it is organic, grass fed or free range.  Vegetarianism, and most other things in life, are a choice.  Or at least they should be.  While I am happy when my kids are enthusastic about embracing this personal life choice I have made for a variety of good reasons, I do not want to force it on them.  I openly discuss it with them.  I give them information and I will support their decision either way.  That's just how I am. 

3 comments:

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

The “way” you are sounds perfect to me. We do for our families what works best and that is as it should be. I respect your choices and endorse your ability to flex, bend, stretch and create.

geekymummy said...

I cook meat for the kids and husband too. Rosa has developed a craving for chicken drumsticks, and the last time I made them (organic free range, roasted with olive oil and a little orange juice for glaze) they smelled so damn good that I actually ate a little bit. It was really good too. It's a slippery slope. Hope I don't turn into a chicken hunter!

erin said...

after my first pregnancy food, and vegetables in general started to repulse me so i went from vegetarian to sugartarian. when that happened i thought i'd try to go back to a little meat in the hopes of working out a healthier diet, but i just can't do it. my girls won't eat meat (they prefer sugar, too!), but my husband is quite the carnivore (every now and then i'm kind enough to cook something for him--- which is always met with, "is this real meat?" i am hoping to find a balance, soon...

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