One little girl puts it bluntly: “I like bacon!”. She’s declaring her love of crispy pork when responding to the question of whether or not she likes meat. Like most Americans, she and the rest of the eponymous — and pretty spunky — kids of HiHo’s latest “Kids Try” installment, are pretty into meat. They share their love of nuggets and burgers. To them, as with most kids, meat is simply delicious. So when they are given vegan versions of “chicken nuggets,” “burgers,” and “cheese” that they have no idea aren’t the real thing, boy are they surprised.
The series isn’t meant to be nefarious. It’s meant to open kids eyes to alternative versions of meat. They are presented versions of chicken nuggets, bacon burgers, nachos, and ice cream sandwiches, which they gobble up. Informed by the director that they are in fact eating vegan substitute foods, they kids are given a crash course in what defines veganism. Initially flabbergasted at the fact that certain people don’t eat cheese or meat (What!!?), the kids come around to the idea of alternative food. Mostly. One kid, when asked if he’d like to become a vegan says matter of factly: “No. I want to be American.”All in all, it’s a pretty entertaining way to teach kids about dietary substitutions.
And it’s one that may become more necessary for them to be familiar with. Since 2012, meat consumption has risen from 184 pounds of beef, pork and/or chicken a year to roughly 193 pounds, with only 3 percent of Americans following a strict vegetarian or vegan diet. While meat consumption is by no means inherently bad, they may come a time when it’s simply too difficult to feed our growing population with traditional proteins. Therefore, it’s important to introduce kids early to tasty alternatives, even if they, at first, are pretty weirded out by the whole thing.