The child was having lunch with her parents when she expressed the choice of not eating meat, highlighting the importance of letting children make decisions.
Parents often think that kids are too young to make their own decisions. But what happens if they are given a chance to make their own choices? They might end up surprising us like this little girl, who had something important to say to her parents during lunch. In a video posted by Rose Hyatt, who goes by @rosehyatt on Instagram, her then 5-year-old daughter Clara Bowcut communicates her choice to not eat meat. The mother says in the video, "We want to know why you are upset." The child, who looks emotional, replies, "Because like other animals like chickens and cows and pigs and other animals are getting killed for food. I don't want that because I like nature. Because nature is beautiful and animals are part of nature."
Her mother tries to reassure her by saying, "I will never make you eat an animal." The 5-year-old responds, "But I love bacon and chicken so I can't decide to never eat them again or eat them." Her parents agree and say that she doesn't have to decide that right now. Clara's dad can he heard saying, "You're only five and three-quarters." and Hyatt adds, "So you can decide on a daily basis. Every day, every meal, you decide, OK? And Mama and Daddy will support that."
"I never want to have an animal again," says Clara. "Either plants, fruits, but no animals."
The video has over 390k views and is captioned, "Four years ago today. I can’t stop crying. You’re welcome." Many on Instagram loved the conversation between Clara and her parents. Instagram user @jcesario2457 commented, "I love the way you support her. You hear her and give her options to alleviate her sadness and emotions." @I_schmaltzy wrote, "What a supportive conversation. Supporting her emotions and the natural conflict without projecting your own agenda."
@thegentlevet shared, "Love the way you parent her. It’s okay to acknowledge that meat products taste good but also that we don’t want to harm animals. Eating meat is rather contrary to having compassion for animals. Thank you for giving your girl space to feel her emotions and make sense of her values." @erinireland said, "Love her. I bet most kids would choose to eat plants over animal friends if they knew."
Hyatt told Good Morning America the context behind this viral video. She explained, "We were having just baked barbeque chicken and asparagus. All of a sudden she just gets really upset and so I was like, 'Clara, tell us why are you upset.' And her little self just came out. And you can see this existential crisis going on in her head."
"Her two sisters are a little older than her. She came out just knowing who she was and being very articulate verbally. Part of it is just who she is. We started to write and record all of the things she says," Hyatt said. "The other day she looked at me and she's like, 'So mom, do you have any new hobbies? I was like, no, I don't." The mother of three has a message for all parents when it comes to letting children figure out their preferences. "We need to teach children to trust themselves and the only way to do that is if we trust their decision-making," she said. "When we give children the ability to not be pigeonholed at that age, then we can practice the art of trusting our own decisions and trusting in ourselves."