Yesterday in the school, one girl of twelve years asked me what I eat. I replied that I only eat vegetarian food. Then she said that she also had been vegetarian for a long time. I remembered two other children of the same age and what they were saying about food. I love children, their sensitivity and their soft heart. I want to tell you about two statements.
One eleven years old girl once said ‘I don’t eat any animal that I caress.’ She wanted to say that she would never eat a rabbit because she was stroking one. But she was never really in touch with a pig or a cow. This girl has the consciousness and this loving feeling for animals. There is this sensitivity but from the society, culture and the surrounding she did not learn what is right and wrong. She feels this herself for a cat which is lying in her lap or a rabbit which is eating out of her hand. If she develops further she can fully realize her love for animals and also for those animals that she did not touch yet.
I feel parents should show the right way and take the child to a farm where she can stroke them, caress them and love them. Then she will see that she should not eat these animals and that they are nothing else or any less valuable lives than her cat at home. Why can you eat a cow, not a cat?
Another time we cooked and there was a girl who was also eleven years old. She was not sure if she would like the tofu which we used. We gave her a small piece to try and she said ‘Oh, it tastes like meat!’ Ramona said to her ‘Yes, and no animal had to die for it.’ And when her father came home and we were all sitting together on the dinner table she told her father ‘You know, they used tofu, it tastes similar like meat. But no animal had to die for it.’ She was very happy about this and enjoyed the food very much.
I want to say that from the innocent statements both children showed how soft and full of compassion their hearts are. One child is happy when she knows that it tastes like meat but no animal had to die and the other one also does not want to eat meat when she has a connection with that animal. For me being vegetarian is a matter of sensitivity, not only of health.