Did you know – humans are eating more meat than ever before? But at the same time, vegetarianism is becoming more and more popular (check the #MeatlessMonday hashtag or take a look at recent cookbook releases – so many vegetarian and vegan options these days!). In short, more and more people are talking about meat and whether or not to eat it, including kids.
Over the past eight years of teaching kids under 13 to cook, I’ve definitely noticed a much bigger interest in vegetarianism, from both the parents as well as my students. There are many reasons behind the boys’ (or their parents’) dietary choices – health, religion, animal rights (“I just like pigs, you know?”), environmental impact etc… and it seems that these factors are all moving targets in the day and age we live. Sometimes, talking about vegetarianism or even veganism leads to questions where my response is “I don’t know but I can find out for you.” Well, finally, I have some answers, in the form of Sarah Elton’s latest book Meatless? A Fresh Look at What You Eat.
I loved Sarah’s Starting from Scratch, so was excited to see this new book for kids aged 8-14 written to help teach them to make their own informed choices about eating meat, going vegetarian or finding a happy place in between. Though she’s not a vegetarian herself, Sarah’s “turning point” where she started to think about meat differently came when she had to kill a chicken – and the more she thought about this, the more she wondered why people choose to go vegetarian or simply eat less meat.
To eat meat, someone has to kill an animal. You are taking a life to support your own. This is something to think about. If you’re reading this book, it’s something you might have thought about already. And you wouldn’t be the only one.
In Meatless? Sarah explores the history of meat eating, talks about the different reasons people go vegetarian, discusses alternatives to animal protein and gives tips for kids who choose to go vegetarian (how to have them help plan meals and how to tell their friends and family). It’s a wonderful resource for any parent (or teacher) who has found themselves being asked “Why DO we eat meat?” by a child and who doesn’t have the answers. There’s an excellent resource section at the back listing sources, further reading and recommended vegetarian cookbooks which undoubtedly parents of more curious children will be very thankful for!
Canadian and US readers: Win a copy of Meatless? A Fresh Look at What You Eat! Details here.
Please note: This post contains product links from Amazon and The Book Depository which are affiliate links, meaning if you click over and purchase something, I will receive a very small percentage of the purchase price (at no extra cost to you) which goes towards maintaining eat. live. travel. write. Thank you in advance!
Disclosure: I received a copy of “Meatless” from Owl Kids Books for review purposes. I was not further compensated for writing this post and all opinions are my own.