Thursday, February 9, 2012

The next logical step

At lunch today:

Me: What did you do in school today?

V: Mrs. C made jello.

Me: And what did you learn?

V: That you need to put boiling water on it. Why can't it be cold water?

Me: Boiling water helps the crystals dissolve more quickly.

V: Why couldn't it just be hot water?

Me (guessing, because I don't have a hand-held internet-capable device and have made jello twice in my life): It might be because of the gelatin in it. (Turns out, I'm right, if imprecise)

V: What's gelatin?

Me: Well, it comes from bones and horses' hooves. (I'm wrong about the latter. Oops.)

V starts looking sad. "Some people think that it's best to use all of the animal, if it is killed for meat," I say. His lip trembles. "Do you want to stop eating meat?" I ask.

"I like how it tastes, but I don't want animals to be killed," he says. "Why don't we eat meat from dead people, like if they're old?"

Hmm. "Well, people tend to think that eating other people is gross. And old people would likely be tough and have medications infusing their flesh." (Can you tell this is off the cuff?)

"I'd rather eat meat from people," he says. "Unless they were murdered. Because then people might think we are murderers too."


  1. This would have been my cue to launch into something about disease risk.

    It's probably better that I don't have children.


  2. If I was more knowledgeable, I would have told him about disease risk, at a level he can understand. I take my cues from his follow-up questions; give him enough to satisfy his curiosity, not so much that he's overwhelmed or confused.

  3. Do they make an Omnivore's Dilemma for kids?

  4. Apparently, yes! I wonder if it addresses cannibalism.