Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hunting Chickens??

Oh boy.

I refuse to believe this was a gap in our homeschooling. I refuse. Somewhere, somehow this must have been discussed, where the raw chicken meat sold in the store that we buy and cook here at home comes from.

The other day I shocked my eight year old by informing him that no, humans do not hunt chickens. He said he was sure that all the chicken eaten in America was from having been hunted down and killed by someone.

He recoiled in disgust at the idea of intentionally hatching chickens and raising them on farms in order to kill them so we can eat them. This absolutely horrified him.

Welcome to modern day America, boy. If he was raised as my mother was he would be raising his own chickens and he would have been slaughtering them himself. Or he would have had a hunting rifle at age five like my uncles and done a lot of hunting (and poaching) in order to provide food for the family. You do what you have to do when you are poor and that includes poaching game from the woods of northern Maine. But we didn't get into that.

This conversation then went into a discussion of where does the farmer get the chicken? It hatches from an egg? Where does the egg come from? Another chicken. But where did that come from? From some other chicken farmer. This went round and round until he started laughing.

The conversation ended with another proclamation that the idea of raising chickens on farms in order to kill them to eat them seemed not right.

I was wondering if he was about to choose the vegetarian or vegan lifestyle at that point. Since he dislikes nearly all vegetables and most fruits that would be an issue as I refuse to raise my children on bread and wheat products alone.

It probably won't be long before he brings up this topic again...


Karen said...

I think you get in trouble for feeding your kids on bread and water. LOL.

MamaK said...

That's funny. I remember having a discussion with my daughter. She asked me what animal a beef was. I told her a cow. She then asked what poultry was. A chicken.. She was in shock that they were one in the same. Then she asked why did they not call it what it was. I explained that it is to disassociate the image from the product. She did become a vegetarian for a while, EXCEPT bacon!! She now is back on meat, We did raise meat chickens this year, and has seen it all. But it is funny how people would rather not go there. Beef is just a product in a package. If more people actually see how cruelly most of the huge commercial farms treat there animals, there would be a lot more vegetarians on principle alone! That's a whole 'nother can of worms. I am sure your son's mind is reeling with a whole new twist on things!-Kim

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

It always stops me short when I realize that my children have experienced food from the standpoint of supermarket consumers whereas I was raised in farm country, and the time and the place meant that I well understood the source of food.

Since my kids have been raised in New Mexico, they also have very different views of farming and water as well. When my daughter was little, we once took the train to Illinois to visit family. She was looking out at all the cornfields and asked: "Who waters all of that?"

Last year, when my son was visiting Illinois, my sister took him for a walk on the Illinois Riverfront in Peoria. Someone was hosing off the dock with water. My son was indignant, and said: "Wow! They really waste water here! In Albuquerque, you'd pay a huge surcharge to do that!"

I guess it's all a matter of experience.