I am struggling. I had a weird moment when I was grocery shopping with Addie this weekend, and it is something that has never happened to me before, not even close. I talked to my friend/coworker Lauren about it, because I thought she might have some thoughts… and she did, but I am still not sure how to handle it.
So, we shopped at Jungle Jim’s this weekend, which is a HUGE grocery store with awesome beer, organic produce, and an absolutely MASSIVE foreign foods market. Just about anything that you could want, they will have as far as foreign foods. Usually when we go there as a family, we stop at the bar first, Jason nearly always gets a beer in a solo cup for travelling around the store. Sometimes I do too. This week, we had come from the movies and went to the grocery store which was right next door afterward (FYI – if you have a kid, Moana is a much better movie than Sing, we have seen both).
A beer for each of us during a Rhinegeist tap takeover.
As we were walking around the store, J left to go get something specific and Addie wanted to see the fish and lobsters. They have live seafood so you can purchase it and get as fresh as possible from the fish counter. So I walked her over there. And as we were standing at these big tanks, looking at some tilapia swimming around, I had a thought…
“That’s an animal… and people are going to eat it.”
So let me state here… I have never really thought about this before. I have toyed with “meatless Monday” and things like that, but only the IDEA of them, never actually doing it. And these things always came from a “health/eat more vegetables” place, rather than an animal welfare place. This has just not been the kind of thing that really has been an influencing factor in my life ever. But suddenly, standing in front of a tank of fish, my heart hurt a little…
Lauren said the same thing happened to her, and that was when she decided to stop eating meat. And her whole family (including her daughter who is Addie’s age) are now vegetarians. It was similar in that it was not the animal that you would expect to create a reaction (a cow, at least, that is what I would expect). For her, it was deer during hunting season. And for me, thinking about fish, I feel like there are tons of people who “don’t eat red meat” or “only eat fish” so it seems strange that a big white tilapia created a reaction. Maybe it’s the fact that we have watched Nemo several times recently (fish are friends, not food), or maybe I just have even more of a heart than I thought, but I think I am going to sit with this for a while, contemplate it, and decide what to do.