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Friday, August 31, 2012

He Is Still A Good Little Eater


Dinner is at 5:00.

“What is this?”

“Chicken.”

“What’s it made of?”

“Chicken.”

Dylan, three, almost four years old, looks at me sideways.  He was born an old soul, and he scans my eyes for signs of deception.

“Chickens?” he says.  “Bok bok bok?  Chickens?”

“Yes.”

He picks up the leg he’s been gnawing on.  “I’m so sowwy,” he says.  He kisses it lightly, then continues his meal.

The next night is more of the same.

“What is this?”

“Beef.”

“What’s it made of?”

“Cow.”

He points out the window, over the county road that divides our home and the farm across from us.  “Cows?” he says.  “Moo-cows?”

“Yes.”

He looks down at his hamburger steak, pushes the onions and mushrooms off.  “I’m so sowwy,” he says.  And he leans over and kisses it.  I cut it up for him, and he kisses every subsequent bite, something I find equally amusing and disturbing. 

He eats it all.

The third night, there is a slice of ham each.

Dylan spears one of the pieces on his plate.  “What’s this?”

“Ham.”

“Yeah,” he says, “but what’s it made of?”

“Pig.”

He takes it in and is silent for a moment.  “These animoes,” he says.  “We kee-ew them and eat them?”

I nod.  “Well,” I say.  “We don’t.  Farmers raise them, then they’re killed and cut up and sold to us in stores.  Remember?  We bought it at the supermarket.”

Dylan stares at the ham on his fork.  Blink.  Blink.  

“You know,” I say.  “There are lots of people who don’t eat meat, ever, not just on the days they can’t afford it.  They don’t eat meat because they feel it’s wrong.  We could do that, if you want.  We could stop eating meat.”

Dylan looks at the ham , looks at me, smiles.

“No, that’s aw-wight,” he says.  “I like meat.”

38 comments:

Vicus Scurra said...

Broccoli.

SherilinR said...

it's always interesting to watch children learn about eating animals. mine was a vegetarian with me until she was 9. then she suddenly decided that animal lover or not, she needed some meat in her diet. dang it.

Shelly said...

When my younger daughter was about 5, she saw a news report on tv about a chicken slaughterhouse that was shut down. It really affected her and she went on for days about how horrible people were who killed and ate chickens.

Then, we went for Sunday dinner at my parents' house and on the menu: fried chicken. (My mom makes the best fried chicken around.)My daughter looked at it on the plate, looked up, looked back at the plate, and said, "God, please forgive me," and tore into it.

I love Dylan's heart~

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Sensible lad.

vanilla said...

Me, too! Way to go, Dylan.

joeh said...

Please give Dylan a fist bump for me!

Symdaddy said...

When I was 5 or 6 an found out where our roasts where coming from I went off meat all together.

I ate nothing but veg for nearly a whole day ... I was tricked into eating a roast beef sandwich because, as we all know, there is no such animal as a sandwich!

fishducky said...

It is good to be at the top of the food chain!!

Leenie said...

I'm with Fishducky.

The Jules said...

It's the way they would have wanted to go.

The Six-Fingered Monkey said...

uh-daw-able

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Coming to grips with moral ambiguity. Or some kind of ambiguity. Our grandkids came to this conclusion: "Good for me, bad for the chicken (cow, pig, blueberry, etc.). Great story, nicely told.

esbboston said...

I remember the day in high school biology class when Ruth suddenly, and then loudly, found out where ham and bacon came from, and the teacher was a pig farmer.

Sioux said...

What a charming story. Out of the mouths of babes...

Buttons said...

Well you knew I was going to comment on this one didn't you.
Smart lad. :)
I love Shelly's comment or yeah and Fish ducky:) B

Eva Gallant said...

Love it! He sounds like quite a little character!

NotesFromAbroad said...

I wish I could have had a talk with him when he was that age .. so easy to influence lol .. I hate it when they get all big and bossy, don't you ?

I don't eat meat.
My husband doesn't eat meat.
Our children do not eat meat :)

jenny_o said...

I think there's more to esbboston's story and it might be quite interesting :)

I'm torn between eating and not eating meat. So far all I've managed is to eat less of it. I do like Dylan's approach, though. Covers all the bases :)

Indigo Roth said...

Hey Pearl! It's like Homer said: "If we're not supposed to eat them, why are they made of meat?" I'm liking this kid. Is he still cool? Indigo x

Gigi said...

Oh bless him! I like meat too.

Daisy said...

He's got the right idea: treat all food with respect. I'm going to go kiss my pork chop and corn now.

Ian Lidster said...

I'm with Dylan. The meat thing is aw-wight with me, too. As long as I don't have to do the killin'

The Elephant's Child said...

I became a vegetarian because my body was having difficulty digesting meat. Now, some years down the track the animalarian reasons have also come into play. My partner though does say that I am being very, very cruel to innocent tofudelopes. (Can you tell he still eats meat?)

Indigo Roth said...

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Indigo

Ms Sparrow said...

I remember very well the day I was eating a pork chop for supper and my dad told me where pork chops come from. It's kinda sickening what we're willing to overlook in our lust for meat, isn't it?

Belle said...

It takes the innocence of a child to tell us eating animals is wrong. I eat meat too, but I wish none of us did. It would be wonderful if vegetarianism was the norm.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I had 4 children, 2 of them are vegetarians. I am not sure it was my bad cooking or because I am a Liberal ( note the capitl L).

chlost said...

What a sweetie pie that Dylan. My granddaughter (age 5) decided about a year ago that she doesn't eat animals. Her grandpa-a beef cow owner-just can't understand it. She calmly repeats to him "I don't eat anything that was an animal, Bop!" He shakes his head and walks away. She calmly eats dried seaweed. "But it tastes like pond scum" says grandpa. "Bop, it wasn't an animal".

River said...

Old heads on young shoulders!
I remember my grand daughter aged about 3 or 4 cheerfully announcing "we're eating Daisy aren't we mum!" as the family ate burgers for dinner one night. Daisy had been grandpa's cow and they'd all driven with her to the local butcher the previous week, then picked up the packaged meat parts a few days later.

Rose L said...

When I was little my mom told me that God created the animals to sustain us (she had to explain that meant be food for us to eat) and to serve us. Then she added that the world would be overrun with animals if we did not eat them.

That Janie Girl said...

I love him!! He's a smart young man!

Tempo said...

What a touching moment...

Mitchell is Moving said...

What a cutie!

Linda O'Connell said...

Sweet, sensitive little boy. With that I am going out for a breakfast of bacon and eggs. I will kiss my bacon before I bite. The restaurant patrons might think it a bit weird, but I don't care. Your little guy sets a good example.

Kelly Louise said...

I love Dylan's heart!

Paula Wooters said...

AWWW... I love Dylan. He has his priorities in the right order!

Pat said...

Yup!
Dylan and I sing from the same hymn sheet.

Roshni AaMom said...

Kids are just so practical!