The other night, my husband, my kids, and I sat down to dinner. It was a gourmet meal, naturally, because that's what parents of small children feel like cooking each evening. My two year old poked at his plate, pointed suspiciously at the breaded chicken breast, and said, "What's THAT?"
Being a very patient mother who never gets frustrated with the eating habits of toddlers, I replied, "Chicken. Eat it." My four year old, who is at that stage of delighting in her relative wisdom compared to her little brother, turned to him and explained condescendingly, "But don't worry, it's not chicken like the BIRD chicken, it's just the words sound the same. You know, like 'sun' and 'son'. We wouldn't eat birds, that's crazy!"
My husband and I had a brief wordless argument purely conducted through intense facial contortions that basically went, "You take this one." "No way, I'm not explaining that!" "She'll think we're monsters." "Are we monsters?!?" I bit the bullet and explained that it was indeed chicken "like the bird chicken" lying on our plate. Their questions were along the lines of:
"But it died by itself, right? No one killed it?"
"Did it have a happy life at least?"
"Why don't you know what happened to it? What if someone was mean to it??"
"Why do people eat animals? Why don't they just eat plants?"
OH, JUST SHUT UP AND EAT THE CARCASS!
I'd like to say that after confessing to my innocent children that I'd chopped up the body parts of a once-living creature and cooked it, like some evil witch in a fairy tale, I quit eating meat completely. But that's not true because, you guessed it, it's hard to change. Plus, have you smelled bacon lately?
So, yep, you can blame my kids for the first challenge, 'Eat Less Face'. I'm finding it incredibly hard. Not the 'not eating meat' part, but because I had to do a lot of research for it... and it's like opening Pandora's Box. There are plenty of things that really disturb me about eating meat now, but there's one in particular that's literally been keeping me up at night as my little brain churns it over and over.
But that's another blog post for another day.