Carnivory and Children

Recently I’ve discovered Amber Dusick’s funny blog called Parenting. Illustrated in Crappy Pictures. I love the way she succinctly captures such essential aspects of contemporary North American parenting in primitive, funny drawings. Her Thanksgiving post illustrates (quite literally) the fact that children are often more accepting of certain facts of life than we are.

Like eating animals.

I’ve known people who really didn’t want their kids to know that meat comes from animals. Well, since we’re being honest here, at one point I didn’t really want my kids to know that meat comes from animals, but I certainly didn’t need to worry that they’d be horrified or something.

I’ve heard of sweet little children who burst into tears at the thought of eating animals.

That’s not my kids.

Don’t know if it’s the Pioneer Stock they got from their daddy’s side or what, but they enjoy hearing about (and then re-enacting) all the parts about Pa hunting in the Big Woods and, you know, cutting the animal up and roasting it and letting the girls play with the pig-bladder and whatnot.

And they love meat.

And so I love this part of Amber’s Thanksgiving post, where she’s all anxious that there’s going to be a meltdown when the kids realize that a Thanksgiving turkey is, well, a turkey–

They start talking to it. Saying hi and stuff. Just small talk. 

I don’t want their conversation to get personal. I know where this could lead. I start to suggest we move on to see the other animals.     

But then, he simply says:

{Italics are Amber’s words.}

Now, of course, most Thanksgiving turkeys aren’t lucky enough to be raised in nice places with room to run around and be greeted by cute carnivorous children. Most turkeys are raised in places like this:

I wouldn’t really want my kids to see how those turkeys are raised.

Because that would be a truly Crappy Picture.

Compassionate carnivory is costly, sure. But it sure paints a better picture for our children.

How does your family deal with the dynamics of (not) eating animals?

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