We have started having the conversation about eating animals. It has happened later than I thought, Frederique is 9, Una is 6. Up till now they have hadn't had a problem with the idea of meat, easily slipping between cuddling their pet chooks to tucking into a roast chicken dinner. I was vegetarian for many years as a teenager, but went back for bacon around the age of 20 and now eat more or less everything. Anyway, after a few conversations where the girls expressed great concern at the idea of eating fluffy baby lambies, we've decided to go vegetarian for a month. I too have been wondering about the ethics of meat eating again. I am not really opposed to eating meat, but I do want animals to have quality of life, and somehow I don't think simply selecting free range options at the supermarket is enough to ensure this.
I am sort of hoping this might give us a chance to readdress what we eat, when we eat it, how we shop... Our hens were off the lay, and so I briefly entertained the idea of going vegan, but I just don't think I am prepared to go that far, especially with Avery so young and, you know, lattes. Cheese. Lattes.
The girls like chickpeas, lentils, beans and a reasonable range of vegetables and both eat all fruit. There is a nut free policy at school, and we've struggled to find savoury sandwich fillings that they'll eat, but it seems they like broad bean dip with alfalfa sprouts. Getting their lunchboxes healthier and more substantial is one of my goals with this month's trial. Martin deals with his own lunch at work (I am not sure if he will go vego for this - he usually has tuna). I cook lunch for Avery, usually an egg, baked beans, veggie fritters or leftovers, sometimes he has a tuna sandwich. I have a salad or toastie or leftovers or a "snack plate" - cheese, biscuits, fruit & veg, nuts - or, if I am lazy, fruit toast with peanut butter. Which is what I have for breakfast most days too.
Anyway, my rough evening meal plan for this week - seven meals though if we are lucky at least one of these meals will get thrown over for dinner at A Boy Named Sue:
Beetroot and feta gozlemes with Waldorf-ish salad (with hazelnuts instead of walnuts, since we have some)
Tempeh sausage rolls
Gado gado (hard boiled eggs and steamed and raw veggies with homemade peanut sauce)
Goats cheese, spinach and polenta bake (from a 2006 Donna Hay Diary) with orange and fennel salad
Store-bought sesame falafels, store-bought hummus, flat breads, tomato and cucumber salad