tea and food ethics – 4 yr old style

i don’t remember when i learned that chicken comes from a chicken, bacon from a pig, and steak from a cow. i wonder if i don’t remember because the knowledge of it didn’t bother me. my thoughts were probably along the lines of elisha’s when he figured it out some time ago, “oh. so can we have burgers tonight?” my concern over the kinds of food i eat didn’t happen til many years later and even now those concerns don’t mean i don’t eat meat. i am concerned about where the meat comes from and how the animal was treated.

but i’ve known kids who are really bothered by the whole idea of eating meat, and now i can add one of my kiddos to the list. the conversation was sparked over tea while doing a little bit of schoolwork. schoolwork that had a bizarre page with illustrations (not graphic) about a cow going from grazing cow to steak on a plate.

asher :: but i don’t eat cow. if i saw someone try to kill a cow i’d get ’em.
me :: but do you like to eat burgers?
asher :: yes
me :: burgers come from cows.
asher :: but not hot dogs…
me :: yes, they can come from cows.
asher :: (looking a little ill and perplexed) i think i’ll just eat muffins.


6 thoughts on “tea and food ethics – 4 yr old style

  1. That is hilarious. I have a friend whose 4-year old recently asked who puts the bone in the drumstick and was horrified to realize that its an Actual Chicken Leg. It made me realize how our language sort of couches reality… that bacon “comes from” a pig, not that it actually IS pig. 🙂

    1. ha! yes, if i would have said bacon IS pig, burgers ARE cows it probably would’ve put him over the edge. poor guy, today he’s been asking me why we kill baby cows. i think he gathered from the picture that it is only baby animals we kill to eat. i didn’t have the heart to tell him about veal.

  2. oh my!
    Owen is super into knowing where food comes from, too, but in a “wow, that’s awesome” kind of way. Recently he got a bunch a sea creature toys, and he has wanted to know not only which ones we eat, but what PARTS we eat. So, he holds up a toy and says “Do we eat orcas?” or “What part of the squid do we eat?” Kinda funny to show him via toy how daddy likes the tentacle part, but mommy only eats the round cuts from the body!! 🙂

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