Monday, April 14, 2008
Well this morning was a little sad in our home, for a truth about the world came to light for our little Riley and he was crushed. I was talking to the kids about the fact that I would love to have chickens so that we could have our own supply of fresh eggs, and I just thought it would be fun to have chickens! Riley loved the idea and added "if we have chickens then we will have baby chicks from the eggs and then we can eat the eggs in our fridge from the store instead." We told him that we would not be raising babies but that we would be eating the eggs from our chickens if we had them, and that these eggs would not be able to ever become baby chicks. Riley thought a moment and then said "we kill the baby chicks and eat them?" And then he started to cry and ran back to Lauren's room. As he ran away, Lauren starts yelling, "what do you think burger and chicken nuggets are Riley!" This certainly did not help. Tod and I went back to talk to him and to reassure him that the eggs we would get from our own chickens would not be killing, and that the only animals we kill are the ones we would eat. Especially since recently this has become a huge awareness for me, and the whole world of meat and where it comes from and how it is processed and my leaning towards vegetarianism, it broke my heart that Riley had made this realization and had so much empathy for animals. I realize the importance of certain proteins and that my children still need this type of nourishment, which makes the integrity of the meats we choose extremely important to me now. I will not make the decision for my kids to become vegetarians, that is for them to decide when they are older, but I will always provide food that is the highest quality I can find, and that includes meat choices too. And I will make sure that I keep my promise to Riley that we will only eat the animals that we know come from a clean source. They will not come from places that are cruel and awful. So today we made a call to the farm next to my mom's and are planning to pick up our organic eggs on Wednesday, a positive step towards making smarter, and healthier choices. Riley is OK now but his reaction today reminds me how children look at our world and how sometimes it can be very confusing. We say killing is bad, but then we kill animals for food. What makes it OK? That answer is the personal opinion we all arrive at in some point in our life, and it can change the more knowledge we gain. The most important thing is to always be responsible for the things we know and do our best to follow our hearts in what we believe to be the right direction to follow.