We Are Meat

I just responded to someone on an unschooling list... we're having a discussion about vegetarianism and how to support your child if they don't share your values. A member said her daughter first ate chicken at her grandmother's, that her grandmother gave her some, and the daughter liked it. Since then, the mom has prepared chicken for her daughter. Another mom, who is very passionate about her vegetarianism and choices, asked "What message is that giving to your daughter? How will she feel about chickens when she finds out the truth??"

This was my response:

I had to laugh at this... over the course of our discussions, of
course factory farming came up. I told the boys what *I* believe,
about how the fear and panic of the chicken ends up being part of the
meat. Seth grinned and said, "Yeah! That's what makes it taste so

I long, long ago gave up the belief that if we unschooled, my children
would be little peace-loving, calm hippies, eco-aware, nonviolent and
oh, so sweet. They are who they are, completely and totally, and I
LOVE every molecule.

I didn't add - because I thought it would sound snarky - "even the ones that are meat." But thinking that got me thinking. We *are* meat. And don't kids know this on some level? So if you're totally repulsed by other meat... aren't you rejecting part of yourself? And what message does *that* send your child? I'm not saying everyone needs to eat meat. But, the decision can come from a different place. We are meat. This turkey is meat. I don't have to hate the turkey, or fear it, because it's meat. I can know this turkey and I share a lot - muscle, blood, bone, heart and lungs. I can *feel* that oneness, then choose whether or not to ingest the turkey or not. To honor it by bringing it into my body, or honor it by *not* doing that - whatever I'm led to do. Accepting the meatiness of my own self.

And honoring my kid's choices, as they accept and live out the meatiness of their own selves, too. Yum. I could just eat 'em up.

That's the window on my mind, this Wednesday, the 25th of June, 2008. Good day. (said in my best Paul Harvey voice.)


Ren said...

I really, really, really love this post! I think I'm going to have to blog about this topic myself. :) Jalen was saying "we're meat too Mom" just the other day. Timely.

Frank said...

Fascinating and a reality we all hafta face. Did you read Arun's blog a while back when he was discussing food issues? There was some hot commentary there.

Frank (an old guy who still loves meat and Twinkies - Sorry!)

Pam Genant said...

I have avoided posting on this issue on that list. But my thought to the "what does that teach your child" as I am a vegetarian and one son is not, I cook meat for him, is that it shows my son just how much I truly love him. I love him enough to support him in his beliefs even if mine are different.

Rick Hamrick said...

With 6 billion of us here, the concept of there being any one answer other than "yes, you should breathe" which applies to all of us is the silliest notion I have heard lately.

Of course, it's not just about our meatiness (I love that reply you copied into this post, by the way), it applies in any area where people harbor strong feelings. And, in every case, those people who insist they know The Way are just as silly as in every other case.

Heck, I'm as guilty as the people I term 'silly'! I cannot, for the life of me, imagine how someone of reasonable intelligence can continue to believe the President of the United States is someone worthy of continued support. That puts me down as officially calling some 30% of the American people "not of reasonable intelligence."

Who knew we were that dumb? (grin)