The mister's boss embraces a vegan lifestyle. Middle Child's best friend is a vegetarian. While the Boy and Middle Child would likely opt in for an all animal-based meal plan, Skater Girl's radar has gone up in response to the possibilities of a vegetarian diet. She's requested a week-long experiment with vegetarian menus. I suspect her carnivorous sister will launch a full-scale rebellion, but the idea holds interest. I suspect that this suggestion is not simply borne of curiosity about a couple of individuals' lifestyles, but also because of some recent community opportunities to increase awareness of hunger.
A couple of local churches have recently participated in programs intended to raise awareness and funds for hunger relief, and that has brough the topic of the financial and ecological costs of red meat in particular to our discussions. One church suggested eating only beans and rice for a week to gain understanding of what it's like for those at Village of Hope to receive beans and rice for every meal. The grocery savings likely for many American households can then be donated to Village of Hope. Several local youth groups have been participants in the 30 Hour Famine in order to experience hunger personally while raising funds for another group in Africa combatting hunger. Pleasant Suburban Elementary is focused on hunger closer to home as the school children collect cans of fruit this week to supply our local food pantry. The food pantry also participates in an annual program called, "Scare Away Hunger," where trick-or-treaters collect canned goods. These different means of responding to the looming problem of hunger each has merit, and each one has been a topic in our home.
Skater Girl has heard how more rescources are required to produce a serving of beef than would be required to produce a serving of grain, fruit, legumes, nuts, or vegetables. Maybe this ecological reality is on her mind? Or is she thinking of the children she met across town who rely on food stamps in order to eat most meals? Is she remembering those we met in Honduras who would not have had food to eat without the efforts of Reach Out Honduras and Send Hope? Has she been listening to her mother's fussing over the grocery budget and comments regarding the lower cost of vegetarian meals? Did she overhear her dad saying that Oreos are vegan and ice cream is vegetarian? There's no telling what has ultimately influenced the request to experience a week of vegetarian dining. Whatever piqued Skater Girl's curiosity, it will make an interesting challenge to prepare meals to suit this family and meet their nutritional needs without meat. There is definite relief that she didin't ask for a Vegan Week.