Thursday, January 4, 2007
on the spot
"what is this?" the girl asked as i put before her a beautiful piece of filet mignon, which her supermarket savvy mother got for a steal. oy vey, such a deal!
"steak" i replied (when it comes to the kids all red meat is "steak"; why complicate things?).
"was this a living animal once?" she asked.

christ. think of an answer, quick. think! think! c'mon. come up with something brilliant and honest yet simple.

"yes" is all i can mutter.

"well, i'm just going to have the write the president to tell him to stop all the killing." my daughter was not talking about the "conflict" in iraq.

the questions kept coming: why do we have to eat animals? how do they die? does it hurt? where do they kill them?

i tried my best. lord knows, i tried my best. i started with meat's nutritional value, tried to explain slaughter and how it is a sacrifice and how it can be done humanely (which is no easy feat. go on. try it. let's see what you come up with), then went with the "we use all of the animal like the native americans did; there's no waste like those asian poachers who only kill a shark for its fin."

"what about egypt? huh?"
"what about it, honey?"
"what do they eat there? there's only, like, sand and crocodiles."
"no, there's a river and people live near the river. they have food there."
"what about hospitals? how do moms get their babies out if there aren't any hospitals?"
"they have hospitals. and food. it's a modern country."
"well, i know they have a car. one. red. car. it was in my magic schoolbus book. really, it was!"

at this point, my son started chiming in because he wanted more carrots.

"stop, brother. we're talking about killing."
"we're not talking about killing. we're talking about food."
"no, we're talking about eating animals. and dad's on his way home so we should stop. he wouldn't want us talking about killing at the dinner table." (mind you, as she was going on and on about us eating meat, she was scarfing down the delicious, sacrificed-but-humanely-slaughtered animal formerly known as "cow".)

so we stopped talking about it and picked up a conversational thread about the circus, which we are seeing tomorrow evening, courtesy of some friends from our church. what i really wanted to ask (but kept my mouth shut): who the hell is talking to you at school about this? is it that kindergarten olson-twin wannabe who told you to drink carrot juice to lose weight? or the kid who gives you a hard time every time you eat a potato chip even though i've personally seen her own mother inhale junk food like a hoover?


Blogger Andie said...

ok, i don't know what to say for this one. good luck. keep us informed...

Blogger me said...

i hardly knew what to say myself!

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