My parents come from West Africa Sierra-Leone, so the day I decided that I was no longer going to consume meat, quite simply, all hell broke loose in my household. As far as they were concerned, especially my father, African's have always eaten meat, do eat meat, and will always continue to eat meat.
My Unintended Beef With the Chicken!
My mum (on the other hand) was more interested in understanding my decision but she did tell me stories about my childhood, and that between the ages of 5-10, I refused to eat the chicken on my plate. According to her memory, I was more concerned about the life of the chicken and status of the chicken before it's untimely death which currently led it to ending up on my dinner plate.
According to my mum, I had a lot of questions that needed answering which varied from, but was not limited to;
- Why do we eat chicken mum?
- Where is the chicken's mum?
- Did this chicken have an occupation?
- Now we've eaten the chicken, will a missing poster be placed for its disappearance?
- Did this chicken have a family and if so, where are it's brothers and sisters?
- Why didn't this chicken's family come to rescue it before you cooked it?
- Did you kill the chicken?
- So does that make you a murderer mum?
These are of course fundamental questions, I believe any 5 year olds will ask-and quite rightly so! So for her it came as no surprise that I made the decision to be vegan and both parents let me know they weren't pleased about it. Their questions started with but was not limited to;
- How will you grow?
- Where will you get protien?
- You're small now, (this translates to, "you have no meat on your body) if you become vegan you will be smaller!
- How will you look healthy?
- Can't you eat like a normal somebody?
- This is why you remain short, because you don't eat meat!
- If you want long hair, eat the meat your mum cooks!
- Meat is part of the African diet (sigh, they couldn't be more wrong)
- African men like meat on their women! (comments made by father dearest)
It really comes has no surprise that people of the African diaspora leading cause of deaths are; heart disease, cancer and strokes. I even wrote an article about what our african ancestors ate (prior to slaverly and colonization) in our last edition of ISIS Mag.
Take a look
It took 2 years for my African parents to come round to the idea of my veganism and 'grass like ways' but what led to their acceptance was a series of remarkable events that slowly coached them and my extended family towards a more greener lifestyle!
Watch out for part 2 next Thursday! (Don'tf forget to like, comment and share)