I was having a conversation with my husband last night and it got a tad heated. Poor my mum who was sitting in the middle of us whilst it was going on, although to be fair she asked the question that provoked the ‘debate’.
It was about whether we would raise a child with a vegan diet or not. This is important because I’m a fairly committed vegan and have been for a while now. My choice is driven by my thoughts about how the mass animal farming industry has many cruel aspects to it and my views about how it’s kinder to the planet to not consume animal products.
Gregg mostly goes along with my preference regarding food because he doesn’t have strong views and since I cook the majority of our food and bake enough cakes to satisfy his pudding needs, it generally it works out well for us. He might have the occasional piece of meat when it’s reduced in the supermarket and he buys dairy yogurts I’m guessing because they’re cheaper than the soy alternative, but apart from that we’re both mostly vegan.
And so I can’t even start to imagine feeding my child all the things that I don’t consume myself.
Just when things were getting nasty in our conversation and the ice queen in me was coming out, my mum said something that made really great sense and cooled the conversation down –
“this isn’t a head discussion for you, Amy, it’s a matter of the heart”
And I could see that this was true. It wasn’t an argument that I could enter into calmly and come to some sort of compromise because it’s close to my heart, part of my moral values. And whilst I live alongside Gregg and respect his eating choices and can be ok with my child making his own choice one day about what he wants to eat, it hurts to contemplate raising a child outside of my ethical boundaries. Because it’s wrapped up in so much more than just food choices:
- Guilt in bringing a child to this earth when it is already so over populated and the impact on the planet of having children is so high
- Concern about the future of our planet and bringing a child into a world that may suffer from severe water shortages and a rise in natural disasters
- Feeling torn about trying to lead a life with as minimal an impact on the planet as I can, but already compromising my beliefs in order to travel the world and start a family.
So where does this leave me?
Hopefully not with you thinking less of me for having strong views about my lifestyle that may not be akin to your own. I am who I am and I respect that you are who you are, dear friend.
Maybe I’m writing this in the hope my husband will understand just a little bit more where I’m coming from and will be willing to support me with this choice and this matter of the heart. Maybe it’s to try to come to peace with some of contradictory feelings I have about becoming a mother and living a kind life. Or maybe it’s about finding a way of moving forward with this matter of my heart.
Whatever it is, it’s good to surface these feelings and to start to work through them to find a way forward.