Saturday, April 1, 2006

Having a child forces me to look at ordinary choices from a variety of unflattering angles. This morning for instance, I decided to give Violet egg for the first time. I carefully separated the yolk from the white and fried up the bright yellow part. It was pretty. I put Violet in her seat and scattered the egg bits in front of her. Suddenly, as she began to curiously explore and chew her new food, I had a horrifying realization. Violet's t-shirt had a hatching, yellow chick on it, with the phrase "Cute As Can Be" written underneath it. I have never been principled enough to embrace vegetarianism. I just like eating animals too much and it is far too easy to balance my diet by including them. But, this morning I was faced with the dilemna of how to explain the food chain to my little girl. How do we reconcile this double standard? We associate baby animals with baby humans. We decorate our children and their rooms with baby animals. We take our children to petting zoos and whatnot and then we turn around and ask them to eat these same animals! Just the other day I took Violet to see the cows and goats at Young's Jersey Dairy. I could have eaten a cheeseburger made out of those cows. In fact, I ate ice cream made from cow's milk. The ice cream doesn't bother me so much, but no cows have to die for that. I guess I just never anticipated this sort of hypocrisy in my own life. Aaron and I love animals. We have dogs and a cat. I want Violet to grow up with respect for animals and their importance in our environment, but I am not prepared to stop eating them. Maybe this is my own hang-up. I don't deal with my carnivore guilt like I should. Breathe, remember that eggs are not chicks, they are unfertilized embryos. Yummy!

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