In this blog series, Sharon Discorfano, Esq., a Government Relations Intern at the ASPCA, will discuss her experiences with helping her nephew make food choices for better health and animal welfare. For more information about Sharon’s animal-related projects, please visit sharondiscorfano.com or follow her on Twitter @shadisco.
Meeting Farm Animals
Now that Nicky’s getting older, our family has started seeking opportunities for him to meet farm animals by visiting animal sanctuaries. The beauty of visiting sanctuaries is that visitors interact with animals who live in natural settings that allow them the basic freedoms and care all animals deserve. Additionally, each animal comes with his or her own compelling story. Our own little Nickster prays at night for “Nick the horse who got burned” in a barn fire. When children have an opportunity to give a pig a belly rub, or pet a chicken, or rest a hand on a cow, suddenly what’s on their dinner plate has a name and a face. For those who choose to eat animal products, this instills a desire to ensure those animals were treated as humanely as possible.
Here’s an example of how incorporating healthier choices can be simple, empowering, and fun for kids and adults alike:
My parents watch Nicky after school, and they usually all have dinner together. My parents, who are not vegetarians, have chosen to participate in Meatless Monday to reduce meat consumption by committing to one meat-free day each week. Nicky was absolutely delighted when we suggested he be “in charge” of Meatless Mondays at the house! In the beginning, it was mostly about reminding Nana and Papa to order a pizza—hold the pepperoni! Now, his role has expanded to more creative meal planning for Monday night each week. Go, Nicky!