It's not me that talks to BM, sorry if I gave that impression.
Anyway, we will continue to offer healthy choices, which may or may not include meat depending on what we feel like eating, and SD can pick what she wants to eat. DH tends to make meals that involve only meat and salad, so I will have to add more starches/more veggies to our meals.
I never liked meat as a kid, and went years in my early 20's without eating it as well (although I never called myself a vegetarian). However, recently I discovered meat tastes a lot better when it's not dried out and overcooked the way my mother always made it. And now that I can afford to buy organic/free range meats, I do.
I would be pissed about a rare burger, too, but I would take it back and ask for another one, and express my anger to the staff, not tell my young child that eating it could kill them. I realize it might be true, but all the same I don't think it is appropriate information for a little kid. We've dealt with this before: SD's mom told her for years that she shouldn't eat certain foods "because she might die." (Food allergies leading to anaphylaxis run in my DH's family.) I can understand wanting to be careful, but not telling a kid (age 3-4) that food is going to kill them, especially when the child has never exhibited any sign of an allergic reaction to any foods. Again, I repeat: the child had never (and has not since) had any type of allergic reaction to any food. If she had, of course it would be different, we would take every precaution necessary. I still would not introduce the death factor to a child that small though, I would stick with "make you very very sick." But hey, that's just my opinion. And no, we didn't say anything to BM about it - after all it is her choice to do things the way she thinks is best.
Again, if this vegetarian thing was based on an honest dislike of certain foods, or a concern for animal welfare, I would be much more understanding. Although it wouldn't change what I am putting on my dinner table. However, this is 100% based on fear/trauma from what I understand. We have discussed it with SD and she has not offered any other reason, and she is a very articulate child, and definitely able to express complicated ideas.
Anyway, we will not press the issue, and hopefully this will pass. Maybe I can get her to eat Matter Paneer if I don't put too much curry in it... Thank you all for your suggestions. Sorry if I've been argumentative, it's a bad habit of mine.