Sunday, October 4, 2009

Backfire!

I'm brainwashing my kids. We all do it, only we call it raising them to share our ideals. I want them to understand, fully, what meat is. As a kid I found raw meat so disgusting I couldn't imagine ever preparing it, though I didn't have too much of a problem eating it once my mom cooked it. Well, I suppressed that revulsion and forced myself to make meatloaf a few times and fry pork and bake chicken. Now that I'm vegetarian the kids are asking why. I don't tell them meat is disgusting, they still are given chicken. I tell them they can choose to eat it sometimes, but mostly it's better for their health to not eat it or to eat very little of it. I tell them meat is animal muscle that has been cut off the dead animal. I say all information in an even tone as if I'm explaining how taxes work (yes, S asked about taxes, though she didn't know what it was called). Very straightforward, as I always am with them. But, telling them that meat is muscle, muscle like we have, may have backfired with S. Eating meat is so normalized for her. She's never visited a farm or county fair. She's seen cows from a distance and pigs at the zoo. It's difficult for her to equate the meat she eats with these animals. G is more impressionable at only 4 and says she wants to stop eating meat like mommy. She shows some understanding that we're eating pieces of dead animals and seems to not like that, but she's fine with continuing to eat chicken, since I said I'd keep giving it to her. But 6 year old S? Last night she was sucking a chicken bone dry!

What did I expect my children to think telling them meat is muscle? "Oh, people have muscle. I'd never eat a person's muscle, so why would I eat an animal's muscle?" Turns out, S thought about that much differently than I expected.

Today we were watching the end of Swiss Family Robinson and as the pirates were being killed off, S said "They should just eat the pirates. They have muscle just like us and muscle is meat, so they can eat them." I responded, "You want the family to eat other people?" Not skipping a beat S said, "The pirates are bad people, they deserve to be eaten." Looks like my daughter is pro-cannibalism as long as the people on the menu were bad.

The menu.

The could-be cannibals. And really, before S said what could be done with the pirates I was thinking, they're sure gonna have a lot of stinking, dead bodies to clean up!

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