Friday, March 07, 2008

Hungry? Not after reading this.

For some time now, Sarah has been fascinated with death. I'm pretty sure she doesn't fully understand the concept, but this is not for a lack of trying.

Most of her efforts at understanding this topic are, unfortunately, directed toward food - more specifically meat. She wants to know in detail how the animal was killed and what the animal's feelings are about the entire situation. It is so hard to explain to her the path that the meat on our plate took, but I want to be honest with her. So, I try my best to give her true information at a level that she can understand without going so far as pulling out images of slaughterhouses. I'm pretty sure those images wouldn't be helpful to a 3-year-old.

Anyway, here's a sampling of questions you might hear around dinnertime at our house, questions that have me considering vegetarianism.
  • As I place a chicken in the oven:
    • How did the chicken die? Did someone cut its head off?
    • Did the chicken like it when they cut its head off?
    • Where did its blood go?
    • Are we going to eat its muscles?
    • Does the chicken like it when you put it in the oven?
  • Over a dinner of crabs:
    • How did the crab die?
    • Do the crabs like it when you crack their legs?
    • Do the crabs like it when you eat their face?
  • At the mention of a fish sandwich:
    • Sarah: Mom, how do fish die?
    • Me: Well, sometimes they get very old, their bodies stop working and they die.
    • Sarah: (Silence....) Or with a gun.
Good times. On the positive side, she stops me, pushes me to think about the origin of our food and really makes me crave a salad.


At 10:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

FWIW - she is just a little younger than Hank when he went through his death obsession phase. It's very typical. I think you are doing just right - keep it honest but not too, too grim.

Everything about her is so wonderful - even how she death obsesses. Her questions are great.



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