Evie was dictating a book to me yesterday. It's called A Dog's Life: Huskies, and is part of a projected series about the lives of animals (all to be eventually published by Allen & Unwin, or she hopes... *)
"Chapter 3, How A Husky Stays Healthy.
Us huskies have to stay healthy by eating, running, jumping and drinking. A husky normally gets cold, but to stay warm we huddle up to each other. It keeps me very warm. An Eskimo sometimes comes and feeds us doggy biscuits. Sometimes Eskimos give us Milo to keep us warm."
At this point I stopped and said, "You know what Huskies really eat, don't you?"
She clapped her hand over my mouth. "I know, I know, but don't say it!"
A couple of months ago, Evie became a vegetarian. "It's not fair to eat animals. They should be able to die when they want to, not be killed for us to eat them." It's hard to argue with her logic, and since Michael and I have both had vegetarian phases (Michael's lasted well over a decade), we don't feel that we can.
It's made life quite difficult though, because, like her father, she is a vegetarian who doesn't really like vegetables. Michael survived on beans and pulses, but Evie isn't a big fan of them either. At the moment I'm trying to load her up with eggs and cheese and smuggling vegies into her when I can. And she has been known to weaken for home-made chicken schnitzel strips.
I have to admire the strength of her convictions. She reminds us several times a day that "I'm a vegetarian!!" She's also decided, rather regretfully, that she can't in all conscience become a fashion designer either, in case she has to work with fur (though I assured her that it probably wouldn't be necessary.) She really does love animals, and not just the little plastic ones she collects. Interestingly, a few of her prep classmates have taken a similar stand.
I don't think I had any ideological convictions when I was six (except maybe about the inherent worth of lollies). Surely these thoughtful, caring little people are a hopeful sign for the future.
*You can break it to her, Onions!