What's on my Christmas/New Years' resolution list: Converting my parents

Ok, so, I finally saw "Food, Inc." An amazingly informative and horrifying film, though nothing I haven't seen in some capacity in other food movies. Footage of the kill floors at the pork factories was jaw dropping. Hearing the last squeals of defenseless pigs minutes before their death is enough to make anyone become a vegetarian on the spot. And that's what I want my parents to realize.

My mom and dad are good about buying organic, local, shade-grown, recyclable and all those eco-buzz word products. However, I can't get them to stop eating meat. They seldom eat meat, which is good, but when they do, it's not the kind I usually agree with. It kills me when I see cellophane-wrapped meat packages come out of reusable grocery bags. I know I'm a little scary when I lecture my parents about environmental issues, and I do try to tone it down. It usually doesn't work. But, I just can't rationalize the answers they give me about why they still buy conventional meat. For example: "Your dad will want protein with his dinner." Last time I checked, I don't eat meat, nor do my brothers, and we're fine.

I became borderline belligerent recently about my mom's purchase of a chicken sandwich from a large grocery store. The inner PETA-esque voice came out in my head, as questions and declarations about factory farms swarmed, waiting to slip out. Instead, I said, "You guys should see 'Food, Inc.' when we get home." My mom's response: "No, then I won't be able to eat this." Yeah, that would be my point. I clearly wasn't happy with this ignorance-is-bliss comment and went on a minor rant about the about the battery cages and all those pleasant things.

So, here's what I really want for my parents: I'm not asking them to become vegetarians, although that would be terrific, but rather selective omnivores - those who have meat occasionally and buy it from farmers who respect their animals before, during and after their slaughter. I want them to know about the food they eat; otherwise all their other responsible consumer choices are meaningless.