I had a feeling it might happen eventually, but I didn’t expect it to be so soon.
Oscar has made the connection between meat and animals.
The obvious reaction is that Hannah has somehow pushed her agenda on him, but she hasn’t. When he first weaned, we didn’t give him meat/fish but when he showed a decidedly lackadaisical approach to eating we decided that we could get a higher concentration of calories and nutrients with a diet including meat.
He has been eating meat and fish ever since.
A couple of days ago, Hannah and her mum took Oscar to a garden centre that has a large range of tropical fish, because he has always loved looking at fish. The first signs that he was thinking about this happened there.
“These are fish! We can’t eat fish!”
Hannah told him that, no, we don’t eat those fish. He didn’t say any more about it then, but was quite distressed.
Yesterday, Hannah got him a meal that included fish fingers, which he usually loves. This was the turning point. He point blank refused to eat them, saying that they were fish and he didn’t want to eat fish or animals and that he wanted those fish fingers to turn back into fish and swim around in a fish tank again. He got very upset and insisted that Hannah bury the fishfingers.
My feeling at the moment is that we should respect his feelings. He is a very empathic little boy and has a very strong sense of injustice. I feel that if we don’t respect his decision at this stage, we’ll lose his trust and he’ll grow up feeling that we don’t think that his decisions are important. These are all subjects that I knew we’d have to deal with, I just didn’t expect it to be so soon.
I’m going to have to think about this a lot more before I really feel comfortable with how to handle it best. I certainly don’t believe he should be forced to eat meat if he doesn’t want to.