My project has an environmental theme.
My characters eat meals, and because of the setting, this includes meat and eggs. Some environmentally - friendly friends find those scenes very distasteful and opposed to the environmental intent of the project.
I'd like to not lose a portion of my potential audience because of this conflict, so -
(1) I'm pruning out 'meat' wherever I can (except for the villains), but it's not sensible to never have some sort of meat, given the book's setting.
(2) I've changed some of the game to fictional in-world animals, hoping this will soften the edges.
(3) I'm considering modifying a character to be a vegetarian. < this is my question.The character I have in mind is already fastidious.
Question: If I make one sympathetic character a vegetarian, in order to give voice to the environmental cost of meat-eating, will this come across as tokenism?
Where is the line between diversity and tokenism? I would not have this character preach, on the other hand I'd like to acknowledge the sentiment among vegetarian readers while not alienating others. Is it sufficient to have a vegetarian character who gives one single line of "No thanks, I don't eat that" while wiping his hands on his kerchief, ... is this enough to nod at the readers that I recognize the problem?