Point: Should you tell your parents a lie to make them feel better?

Samridhi Sharma - 4B Chemical
Posted on: February 13, 2020

Recently, while I was home for the holidays, I discovered, in my parents’ refrigerator, a bottle of half-empty clamato juice. Now, I understand the need for clamato juice on a hot sunny day where it is refreshing in its own salty way. I also understand the appeal of wanting something tangy, salty and delicious over the same old regular can of pop. There is only little detail that has been irking me since – my parents are vegetarian. And there are only a couple of possibilities that I think can justify why my parents are guzzling tomato juice like an old Jeep guzzling gas – one, they don’t know clamato juice is made of clam juice; and two, they don’t know what clams are. But I strongly believe that I still shouldn’t tell them that clamato juice is non-vegetarian and that it has clam juice. Here’s why.

Both my parents were raised vegetarian. They have never had the experience of eating anything even remotely close to meat, that is until they moved to Canada from India and had to check labels before buying anything at the grocery store. This is how I sincerely believe my mum found Clamato juice. Imagine this. It’s a warm sunny day in Calgary and my mother (you don’t know her, so just imagine a brown lady) is out shopping at No Frills. She is parched and her water bottle is sitting in the car where she can’t reach it. She sees this bottle of red juice. Tomato! We all know she loves tomatoes. The packaging says “Clamato Juice”. “Tomato Juice’ was obviously taken,” she thinks to herself, makes no more of it, buys the juice. It was love at first sip. Now, this is how it plays out in my head, but it can’t be too far off from reality. Tell me now, would you tell this beautiful and oblivious mother of mine the truth? Despite knowing how much she loves Clamato? If you say yes, you’re a monster.

I have another argument for why I don’t think I should tell my parents that Clamato is made with clams. Here it is: clams do not feel pain. A quick search on the internet brought me to the conclusion that clams do not have pain receptors and do not feel pain. Now, I know that doesn’t make it okay to kill clams but people all around us are eating all kinds of meat while my oblivious parents just want to enjoy a nice glass of clamato. Why should I be the one telling them they shouldn’t?

I also discovered that clams are rich in protein and, as I told you, my parents are vegetarian with little to no protein in their diets. I’m doing this to save them from themselves, okay? They need to have their protein so their bodies can recover from all the heavy lifting they do at work all day. It’s like when our parents used to hide broccoli in our pizza so that we would eat our veggies. I am just returning the favour. It’s time for them to eat their meat.

Consider, also, that the only other beverage my parents enjoy is tea. Tea flows in our household like water. They drink tea as it comes out of the tap in the kitchen. They drink tea like their lives depend on it. I am not exaggerating. My father, before he even leaves for work at 8:30 in the morning, have usually had at least three cups of tea, excluding the to-go cup. I am convinced that they drink like eight giant cups of tea every day. The tea is not black, my friends. The tea has our usual 2% milk in almost 1:1 ratio with water. It also has a teaspoon of sugar. Eight teaspoons of sugar consumed every day is not healthy when it comes almost solely from tea. Now if they are drinking Clamato instead, their tea intake is cut down a little and its just healthier for them. Why would I tell them the truth about Clamato if I want them to be healthy?

Also, have you considered how awkward that conversation will be for me? If I decide to tell my parents now, after they already know that I have seen them drink Clamato, their favourite cold beverage, they would ask me why I didn’t say anything earlier and I would have to reiterate everything I just wrote in this article. But let’s be real, they don’t want to hear that I was looking out for them. The worst part is, I know my parents, they won’t be mad, they would just be disappointed.

So now you know why I wouldn’t tell my parents that Clamato has clam juice. If you have arguments against my reasoning, feel free to reach out to me at s273shar@uwaterloo.ca.

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