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Archive for the ‘vegetarian’ Category

A day before my baby son turned 100 days old and to mark the milestone, his babysitter told me to get ready a piece of chicken meat, a piece of pork and a piece of fish fillet, all cooked of course.

“Bring these food over and I’ll do the necessary for him,” she told me, a first time mother and a very naive one too.

The next day, she smeared his mouth with each piece of meat which I had cooked and put together in a plate.

“Today, you’re 100 days old and ready to eat solid food. Don’t be a picky eater, okay? Eat everything given to you – chicken, pork and fish. That way, you’ll grow up to be a big healthy boy,” she told my wide-eyed baby wriggling in her arms.

The same was done for his little sister when she was 100 days old.

I guess this must be some grandma trick to get children to eat meat. As children, we were given meat to eat as soon as our first tooth popped up.

Like my children, I grew up eating meat.

In those days, chicken, pork and fish were considered luxury food and when we have them once in a blue moon, we were so grateful that we did not bother to stop for a moment to think whether these are the right food for us. What is important is to have our empty stomachs filled up.

Now it is different. Now I am beginning to question the food that we put into our mouths.

I still remember as a teenager, I followed Mom to the Pasar Besar Ipoh one day and we stopped at the pork section. There, at her regular stall facing Foong Seong Building, I saw a slaughtered pig as big as the size of an adult human with its stomach slit open and drops of blood were dripping from the opening down to the floor that was covered with used newspaper.

On the table nearby was a tray of the pig’s offal which were to be sold separately. I saw another tray of coagulated pig blood as well. This gory sight made me almost fainted. I ran down the steps to a nearby drain and vomited. There and then, I made up my mind never to touch pork again.

Many years later when we moved to live in a housing estate away from town, we got someone slaughtering and selling chickens in the market as a neighbor. Each morning, he would slaughter hundreds of chicken before transporting them to the market. After four o’clock in the morning, it would be impossible to sleep on with all the crying from the animals permeating the air. The cries were so pitiful they will linger on in our mind long after the sun came out.

As years went by, it slowly dawned on me that we should not eat so much meat. Why should these poor animals have to endure pain and death to satisfy our palate? Don’t we have other food to eat besides meat?

Today, I am making a very conscious choice of reducing our family’s meat intake. I explained to my children why we should eat less meat from now on. Animals got killed because there were demands for their meat. If we reduce our demand, then there will be less supply and less killing.

Luckily for me, both my children were animal lovers and they have no qualms in giving up their meat intake. Instead of taking drastic steps like eliminating meat totally from their meals, what I did was to reduce them gradually. It’s been a month now but we managed beautifully.

Yes, we are taking baby steps towards total elimination and they are such joyful steps……..

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