Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Future vegetarians. Who eat meat.

Today we brought Leah's classmate C home with us for a playdate. As they finished playing on the huge (like 2-story) snowhills with their classmates at recess, they ran up to me saying, "We found a dead rabbit!" Although they were full of excitement and enthusiasm, not revulsion, it was still hard for me to decide how to react.

Grossed out? (Ewwww!)
Practical? (It probably starved or froze.)
Like-minded? (Very neat!)

I went with ambivalent. (Really? Oh!)

More details came out as they piled into the van and we headed home.

It didn't have a head. And it's back legs were stuck together. Wonderful.

I got to overhear their conversation:

Leah: I wonder how it died?
C: Someone probably stepped on it.
Leah: But why wouldn't it have a head?
C: Maybe someone sliced it off?
Me: (I was trying to get away from HUMANS here) Or maybe an animal ate it.
Me: Yeah, like a dog...
Girls: EWWW!
Me: Or a cat...
Girls: EWWW! Why would a CAT kill a RABBIT?
Me: Well, if the rabbit died from the cold, and the cat found it and was hungry...
Girls: EWWW!
C: Why would it eat it's head?!
Leah: Yeah, even the EYEBALLS!

At this point I pretty much gave up. They were excited enough to tell Aaron when he came home from lunch, and he thought the whole topic was pretty gross, as well. I just couldn't believe that after seeing the dead rabbit and discussing its absent head, what really bothered them was the idea that another animal might have been responsible.

Clearly, these are not farm girls we're talking about.

This reminds me of another carnivore topic. We love the new PBS show Dinosaur Train - it's on at the perfect time, has cute dinos (which I love), and has the greatest topics mixed in with the facts & theories about the giant lizards. All the dinos are friends with each other -the carnivores, herbivores and omnivores all hanging out together. Which I totally get. However, one thing I think is hilarious is that all the carnivores eat "carrion" which they describe as "dead meat". Conveniently, they don't say what KIND of meat it used to be.

How have YOU handled kids finding dead animals?


JJ and EJ said...

Mmmmm.... never been in that situation. Sorry, no help here. : ) Although, in science class, one of my students looked at the fish in the fish tank, gave me a sick look and asked, "Are we going to be dissecting THEM???"

Noel said...

Well if your family had been watching "Nature" instead of "Golden Globes" before "Return to Cranfield", they would have been very familiar with cute baby animals getting killed by other animals ;-) This week's episode dealt with bears and wolves as predators at Yellowstone.

When our girls were younger, we would watch Lawrence Welk on PBS and the parents would recall Saturday nights back in the '60s and early '70s when we would watch it on Saturday nights between baths and going to bed. Rated very "G".

Then would come "Nature" with amazing animals in amazing places. Also very "G" until some young, old, slow, diseased, or oblivious animal would become a meal for a more vigorous species. Sometimes we would divert attention or take other action if we could see "it" coming. Other times we were too slow or oblivious ourselves.

Our cat also provides lessons in animal-on-animal violence. In spite of having 21 body parts removed, he is still able to get moths, mice, and even a baby rabbit. But as an urban cat, he is into catch and release, catch and release, catch and release, until the poor animal gets worn out and dies.

mherzog said...

Here's a good video on the subject:

mama.nichols4 said...

Death comes in many forms, sometimes it's not as humane and "natural" as we'd like to think but it's a part of life. Animals in nature don't have a choice of what to eat, they can't survive on carbs or fiber alone, just like people can't.. we have it easy because we don't have to go out and hunt down our food, etc, we can simply run to the store.

Of course, if you're still not thrilled about the discussion this topic will bring, simply say that the snow plow got him while he was sleeping. haha (sorry!)

Melissa said...

I have had that same thought about dinosaur train. However, there was one episode where Annie and Delores went on migration, and Delores clearly says, "and we eat the herbavores who eat the plants." there's probably a code of conduct on that train.

Beth R+V said...

I'm conflicted and dread the day this conversation comes up w/ my Ben. Dad's a hunter, mom is a soft-hearted "let's just catch the fly and let it go back outside" kind of gal...I think just teaching respect for life is best. Hope that works in a few yrs...

Lyz said...

Noel - Hahaha! I love your cat stories. I did in fact watch some of Nature last week. It's on too late for the kiddos, though.

MamaN - We've already discussed how pork is from pigs, etc. The kids seem okay with eating animals, just not ANIMALS eating other animals!:)

Mel - You are of course totally correct, and I know that episode too. It's also amusing that neither Tiny or Buddy questioned the eating herbivores thing. Cause you can bet a *real* kid would have!

Beth - I don't envy your situation! I think I'd let Dad handle that one...:)

Christopher Gabriel said...

I'm reminded of Art Linklater's "Kids Say the Darndest Things." This may not have been what he had in mind.

"Maybe someone sliced it (head) off." Glenn Close, your table's ready... I realize she boiled the rabbit but I think C's should stick together. :-o