So, the family is sitting at the dinner table and we are having a REAL dinner: steak, potatoes, salad, and dinner rolls. I am so excited because it is rare that we are 1) all together at the same time, 2) not eating cheese pizza, 3) eating a solid meal with protein, and 4) all in a good mood due to this appetizing meal placed before us. My son, Lightning, who is 5 years old and inquisitive about everything (sometimes to a fault), asks me just after I have taken a large bite of medium rare COW,
"Mommy what kind of meat is steak?"
I respond, "Steak comes from a cow."
He pauses to take this in and asks, "Did they dead this cow?"
I slow my chewing because I know where this is heading. Swallowing hard and taking a drink first, I reply, "Yes, this cow was killed before we bought it in the grocery store."
My daughter, Ginger Snap (who is 3 years old) screeches, "Ewwwww, yuck. This is dead cow?! I don't want to eat this!"
I look at Ginger Snap with understanding and suggest that she focus on her potatoes, which are NOT meat - they are a vegetable.
Lightning follows with, "Did the cow hurt while it was being deaded?"
I look at my husband who raises his eyebrows at me, remains mute, and puts his fork down. He has left the steak and is now eating salad (smart man). I look down at my once appealing steak, that is now a slab of once-alive cow sitting in a pool of reddish brown gravy. I think to myself, someone please help me.
Trying to lessen the blow I say, "I don't know if the cow was hurting. Maybe it just died of old age (my GOD, if this is the case, then I am finished with meat. How is this any better than killing a cow?)"
"Why do cows die? I don't know if I want to eat an old cow. But sometimes they dead, I mean, kill the cow before we eat it, right?"
"Wow Lightning, you are asking really good questions and I am just not sure about the answers. Did you have a good day at school? Were you good today? What did you do outside at recess?"
"Yes. I had a good day. I stayed on green all day and we played tag outside. So, mommy what kind of meat is bacon?"
"Bacon comes from a pig."
My daughter freaks. "I love pigs! I don't want to eat pigs!"
Lightning rationalizes, "So, we eat cows and pigs. Does a pig know it's going to be deaded?"
The dinner conversation continues in this refrain through the entire meal. I have now determined that 1) family dinners are not what they used to be, 2) pizza sounds like a delicious option, and 3) I am now a vegetarian. I can't wait until he asks me where foie gras comes from.
The moral of the story? Eat peanut butter.
Famous Ginger Snap quote: 'There are two girls in my class with the same face. They are not twins mommy, they are sisters.'
Famous Lightning quote: '1600 million years old is older than Dad, right?'