A note from vacation: an interesting thing happened over lunch today. After a round of intense questioning, one of my 4-year-old nieces discovered--seemingly for the first time--that the chicken she was eating was in fact formerly a live animal. Not what she expected to hear on asking "Mom, how do you make chicken?" She was a combination of confused and horrified ("I'm eating a bird?!? Why am I eating a bird?!").
I don't remember the first time I made the realization about my carnivorous ways. But it was interesting that in all of her disturbed questioning, she never once seemed like she might stop eating her lunch. It made me wonder: if we waited on eating meat until we were old enough to have some basic understanding of what it meant, would we today still do it? We don't (most of us) grow up around the killing of animals we consume, so it's not like that is a real part of our lives. Wouldn't more of us be vegetarians if only we didn't grow up oblivious to the fact that we were actually eating animals? And if so, isn't that disturbing?