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Farm Ethics and Children

| 3/3/2009 4:40:59 PM

Tags: goat, meat, ethics,

A photo of Fiona WagnerWe are now a two-ruminant family. Yep, we took the goat to the butcher a week after my last GRIT post (the first day the government meat inspector was in) and had the meat processed into 46 pounds of assorted goat cuts.

I felt some disappointment that things didn’t work out better with Oscar, but I must admit, I was relieved and satisfied we’d made the right choice. (Thanks to all you readers for your suggestions and comments – you were a great help!)

We told the kids right away that Oscar was no longer on the farm and they took it fairly well, considering the botched job I did of explaining it.

I’d decided that I was going to be upfront and straight about it. No “Oscar has gone on holiday” nonsense. They were going to learn about life and death on the farm, and I was going to be the one to explain it.

I told them that we’d decided to get rid of Oscar (hereinafter referred to as, “the goat” – you’re right Amanda, it’s much easier when you don’t name the animal!) as it was no longer safe to keep him. We’d done the best we could but some animals are just mean.

They seemed to agree with that assessment. (I think the head-butting and the fact that I had to use a broom to fend him off whenever I entered his pen gave them a good understanding.)

Karin Yates
3/31/2012 8:16:19 PM

I've told my children right from the start that if they are mean, I will kill them. If they don't do their chores I will kill them too. I believe in honesty when raising kids. If we raise our dog kindly and decide he is tasty, we can kill him and eat him. In reality, I became vegetarian at age 10 when it suddenly dawned on me that someone was killed to become "meat". I have 2 children of my own, ages 11 and 15. Both have been vegan since birth. I couldn't imagine subjecting them to the trauma and sadness that the author has bestowed upon her kids. Why not eat the horse? It's OK to kill someone as long as they weren't tortured beforehand? Compassionate murder??? Why is it OK to eat some animals and not others? We have had "mean" animals, but the lesson my kids learned from it is that we show all living beings compassion. We raise tasty fruit and vegetables, and all our animal friends get to keep their lives.

Char Padworny
3/31/2012 7:44:01 PM

Char Padworny
3/31/2012 5:34:38 PM

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