Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"I don't want to eat pigs"

Those are the sweet words my 5 year old son said to me after we saw some very cute piglets at the Minnesota Zoo this month.

I have never really pushed my children into not wanting to eat meat. They just haven't been eating very much of it unknowingly. I feed them "hot dogs"(once in a blue moon) and they eat them up like it is the original hot dog they ate many times before. They eat "pepperoni" on their pizza with no questions asked, and they eat "meat loaf" now more then they ever did.

They love beans and rice and can not get enough fruits and veggies. One other thing I am very surprised at is that they don't ask for milk very often since I stopped giving it to them. My son has only asked for cheese and crackers a couple times, but their desire for dairy has pretty much been eliminated. They willingly eat "ice cream" made from coconut milk, soy or rice milk and enjoy every bite. They have willingly replaced rice, almond and soy milk for cows milk.

When my son saw those piglets and decided on his own that he didn't want to eat them, I was very proud of him making the choice on his own. I think children don't want to eat animals that they think are cute and cuddly and when they get old enough to realise what they are eating they start to ask questions. Some children refuse outright to eat meat even if their family does, but many children eat it because they feel they have no other choice.

When we were at the Zoo we had the opportunity to watch a dairy cow get milked. Now it wasn't the old fashion way with doing it by hand, but rather at the Zoo they have a few cows that they used for their dairy source and they are milked by machine. I was not excited to watch this being done and I already knew what the process was, but I was glad for the opportunity so our children could see what really goes on. It was a great learning experience for them, and for me to explain to them why we don't drink milk.

The process at the Zoo was fairly humane, but the sad reality is, the calf's born to those cows are not shown with the words "veal" written on their pens. The process at the zoo is not nearly as degrading and unsanitary as it would be in a huge production line of 500 cows being milked 4 times a day, which makes the cow milking "show" 100% false in my opinion.

People will walk away from that show thinking that the cows are being treated well with a lot of care and love, and I seriously feel that the cows on the farm are treated that way. But the milk you are drinking is not from those cows at the Zoo.

I will not and do not force my children not to eat meat or dairy. I want them to come to the realisation themselves that by them not eating meat or dairy that they will be healthier and not contribute to the suffering of animals. Nor will they be sucked into societies view of what you should be eating.

1 comment:

  1. Here's a good video on meat: http://meat.org