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Monday, June 1, 2009

Explaining 'Meat' to your children

Innocently, completely innocently. My husband and I have mentioned here and there that someday we will need to explain the sources of meat, chicken, fish etc. to the kids and wondered how it would come about. Well, it happened this morning. I was blindsided. While driving. Almost spit my coffee out. Here is the conversation:

Mom: Honey, please get into the van so I can shut the door as the mosquitoes are coming in.

Daughter minutes later: Mom, why are there mosquitoes?

Mom: Birds and Bats like to eat them.

Daughter: Why?

Mom: Because that is what they eat. They are a part of the food chain

Daughter: What is a food chain?

Mom: Well, that is when one animal is the food for the other animal, usually a bigger one.

Daughter: What eats birds? Oh, Azzy and Rachel do (our cats)

Mom: That is right honey and bigger birds eat birds and even some crocodiles and alligators in countries where they live.

Daughter: Who eats the bigger animals?

Mom (almost spit coffee out now): Uh, well, other big animals and uh, people.

Daughter: What big animals do people eat?


Mom: Well....

Daughter: We eat fish but that is the only animal.

Mom: Where do you think bacon comes from?

Daughter: The store.

Mom: True, but first from a pig and beef comes from a cow.

Daughter: You're teasing mom.

Mom: Do you know what the Bison is that we eat?

Daughter: No.

Mom: It is a Buffalo.

Daughter: You are teasing me.....Mom, is that a station wagon?

Mom: Yes it is honey.

So, now what? this will not be the end. We have not even hit on Chicken, Turkey etc. I am not saying that they should not understand but I wonder how have you handled this? Even if you are a vegetarian, please share your conversations.

My little girl is growing up. sniffle and smile.


Chef E said...

Jen, thanks for sharing, you just brought back memories for parents grew up on farms, so they told their pet pig and chicken stories to us growing up!

Anonymous said...

"the store" LMAO!! too funny. i don't remember when i found out what meat was... I do know that my little sister and cousin went to see babe at the movies one day when they were about 6 though and both came back vegetarians. To this day neither eats eat. Hm. Now that I think of it, I think I learned from Charlotte's Web. But I didn't really care.

Mary said...

I'm smiling and probably will be for at least the next few minutes. Kids are simply wonderful.

Camille said...

Oh gosh, I haven't even thought about that conversation yet! Can I keep mine 2 years old for a little while longer? Sounds like you handled it well!

Anonymous said...

Things to look forward to.... I don't really remember what my parents said when I started asking those questions. I expect my grandmother probably took charge and said something remarkably blunt on the subject.

The Diva on a Diet said...

Oh dear! I'm grinning, but I'm also aching for you, Jenn. What an uncomfortable conversation. Yikes!

Anonymous said...

I think my daughter learned about these things through reading Magic School Bus books. Those are excellent and cover all kinds of topics. In fact the one about Food Chain was the very first one we read about.

Hornsfan said...

As a kid I never really was bothered by the meat concept but my little sister (six years younger than me) spent a good portion of a summer convincing herself that her favorite foods (ham and bacon) were really just a product of didn't last but she tried really hard to avoid vegetarianism :)

Soma said...

:-).. my 8 year old DD knows, but loves chicken too much to give up.. we don't eat the other meat. my 3 yr old cannot relate that the chicken we eat & the ones she sees around are the same.

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