My kids have a loose association that the chicken, turkey, or beef we eat for dinner is in any way related to the animals they sing about in "Old McDonald's Farm" or read about in "The Big Red Barn." It is difficult to explain to kids where meat originates. We have taken a laid back approach and try to answer their questions honestly as they come up.
The other night, we were having a rotisserie chicken for dinner and my five year old was helping in the kitchen. We had the following conversation:
Storytellin' five year old: "Mom, where's the head?"
Mom: "They take the head off, it would be kind of sad and gross if they left it on"
Storytellin' five year old: "Is this the wing? Where are all the feathers? Oh, they must have taken the feathers off before they cooked it. Right, Mom?"
Mom: "Yes, they take the feathers off before they cook it."
Storytellin' five year old: "They must have made a coat with the feathers. Mom, did they make a coat with the feathers?"
Mom: "Maybe, I'm not sure about that."
Storytellin' five year old: "This is an old chicken. They don't need this chicken anymore. Right, Mom. It's one of their old ones."
These are the conversations! It makes a mom want to serve up vegetarian meals.
Comment and let me know how you explain eating meat to your children in a way that does not traumatize them about the farm animals they love?