Animals and Meat

At bedtime we are reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder type books about life on the prairies. Except it appears that life took a turn for the worse on the prairie and now Rose and her Ma and Pa have left to go live in Missouri.

Anyway it doesn’t matter where they are living, this evening in the story, Rose, the little girl in the story is jumping up and down on a pile of branches and she scares a rabbit out of the brush pile.

She chases the rabbit around the field, going up-and-down and back-and-forth and eventually the rabbit goes into a hollow log. She then plugs each end of the hollow log thus trapping the rabbit inside of that log.

Fast forward in the story and Rose and her mother and father are sitting down to a dinner of rabbit stew.

As I was reading my one daughter looked at me and asked me “where did the rabbit they are eating come from.” Her eyes were open as wide as I had ever seen. She looked quite horrified. She was more than a little shocked that they had killed and made food out of the little rabbit. She says that rabbits are incredibly soft and very nice and it’s not very nice that they were going to eat this rabbit.

Her sister said to her in the most matter of fact way that, “well you like chicken. Where do you think chicken comes from?”

She answered that she likes chicken meat but she doesn’t like chickens. And the fact was brought up again that rabbits are so soft and cuddly.

It was very interesting to see them make the connection between eating meat and killing animals. Especially animals that are cute and cuddly and would make a nice little pet.

This evenings story time reminds me of the time when I was in the leather shop a couple of years ago. I had my daughters with me and we were looking at rabbit skins, cowhides, deer hides, and calf hides. One of my daughters asked how they get the skin off the animals without hurting them. At the time I didn’t have the guts to tell her the reality of it. So I just told her they do it very carefully.

Just an interesting observation. That’s it.






2 responses to “Animals and Meat”

  1. […] a challenging question as a parent when his kids starting asking about the relationship between animals and meat. They see the fuzzy bunny in the pet store at the mall and then they see a big delicious pot of […]

  2. […] I took my daughter who was totally accepting of the fact that fuzzy little rabbits sometimes get turned into food, I did have it in the front of my mind that she is a sensitive sort of person and the story may be […]