Jessica and the Earthquake
There's a small earthquake in town and Jessica seems to be the only one who felt it. As she tells what happens her story tends to grow and take on life of its own and soon some people think she can actually predict an earthquake. Lila challenges her on that, though.
The B-plot involves Stephen becoming a vegetarian and trying to get everyone else in the family to eat that way. His father finally has had enough of Steven's constant criticism of what the family has been eating.
'All right, Steven. I've heard more than enough.' Mr. Wakefield set down the slice of bacon he'd been about to put into his mouth. 'If you don't want to eat this food, fine, but please don't ruin it for the rest of us.'
There are many vegans and vegetarians, it seems, who become fanatical about their eating style and try to guilt-trip other people into eating the same way, constantly criticizing people who eat mean (and vegetables, both.) This is seen easily on Twitter and in other places. The criticism can take the tone of the religious extremists who believe everyone should believe exactly as they do and, if they don't, they are somehow bad people.
There are, indeed, reasons why people should eat less meat, but human beings are, by birth, omnivores. That is why we have the kind of teeth that we do. That is why pure vegans need to take vitamin supplements since they don't get all the nutrition they need by eating vegetables alone. I have no objection with people being vegans or vegetarians, but I do object to those who try to constantly evangelize their eating habits.
Later in the story Steven's mother says he will need to throw away his leather sneakers since no vegan would use something made of leather.
A friend of Steven's points out that the smartest way to get the vegan/vegetarian message across is to get people to make small changes at first. From there they can make, if they choose, more changes to their diet like, for example, eating meat only two or three times a week. You win more converts by convincing them of the wisdom of your path than with hitting them over a club saying how wrong their path is.
It's a very good story, especially on the vegetarianism discussion side.
Young adult Index