It happened. I didn't really expect it to happen for a few more years. At least until she was in her early teens. That's when it happened to me. But Jordan has always been an early bloomer.
The only thing I could think of is that we butcher animals here on the farm. Late last summer we butchered four turkeys and Jordan unfortunately saw some of the innards as I brought a baggie of giblets into the house for cleaning and packing. After that experience Jordan decided not to eat any of the turkey on Thanksgiving. I figured this episode has something to do with the vegetarian statement and proceeded to explain to the doctor. Jordan nodded her head in agreement.
Dr. Bisguard asked if this meant all meat. Jordan said no, that she still eats hot dogs (of course), sausage, anything that doesn't remind her of the grosser aspects of eating an animal - namely the blood and guts.
I get it. I can't gut a fish and turn around and eat the meat. I need a few days separation between the yucky part and the eating part. But Jordan hasn't mastered the art of pushing icky thoughts from your brain. And I suppose it doesn't help when Jeremy and talk about the former animal we are eating ... "So is this Sammy or Porky?"
Dr. Bisguard was quick to point out that meat has important nutrients that a growing body needs. And if Jordan wasn't going to eat meat then she'd need to get those nutrients somewhere else. She'd need iron, which comes from spinach (Jordan's not a huge fan). And protein which comes from nuts (good), tofu (not loving that) and beans (hates those). But as Dr. Bisguard rattled these off, Jordan just nodded away like "No problem, I'll eat those things."
In the car I tried to explain, again, why we grow and butcher our own meat. Why I won't purchase faceless, grown in barn, fed only corn, meat so she doesn't get grossed out thinking about us butchering in. Jordan said she understood, but I was skeptical. Until a few weeks later when Jordan was at her Grandma's house. Grandma was serving steaks from the store. Jordan refused to eat the steaks on the grounds that she didn't know how the cows were treated, if they were abused. At least some of my moral stances are making a mark on her ;-).
The good news is that because we don't raise chicken on the farm - at least not friers, we do raise layers - she will eat that meat. Luckily there is a produce market five minutes from home that sell chicken from a local farm with really good practices (e.g., true free ranging). I can also get ground beef products past her. I made Swedish Meatballs last weekend and she has requested those again this weekend.
I suspect this is just the beginning of Jordan walking in and making statements like "I'm a vegetarian now." I remember distinctly my decision at 15 years old, "I'm not shaving my legs anymore." This of course was in response to the oppressive male-dominated culture that expected women to be hairless (lol). And my choice as a teenager to be a vegetarian - due to the horrible living conditions and torture of the animals we ate (I still ate any meat my dad hunted down himself). As long as Jordan's proclamations aren't too crazy, we will support and adapt. Maybe we'll both learn to like tofu ... I doubt it.