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I'm probably an odd duck. Death doesn't bother me. Family has been dying off since I was born. Anyway, I never tried to hide life from my kids and it'd be impossible anyway what with how we live. We've processed our own birds and we've had dogs die. Death is known to my kids but particularly to my now 3 year old. Anyway, last night he was "helping" me with dinner. It was Cornish hens and I was spadocking them (taking the backbone out so I could lay them flat on the grill). DS wanted to know where there heads were. I told him they'd been cut off. Then the feet, same thing. Then he looks at me and tells me to go get one of the meat birds and cut it's head off for dinner. Oh boy. Have we been too open? We are processing those birds this weekend.......................
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Oh he's also a fan of saying he wants to go fishing so he can kill it and eat it.

I don't honestly believe he'd ever want to kill anything though. Probably just all talk.
 

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THAT's DISGUSTING! I'm a vegetarian and if you listen closely you can hear the carrots scream when you bite into them. (JUST KIDDING)

I'm not a vegetarian. I am amazed at some adults though, the one's that think their chicken is grown from styrofoam plates and naturally covered in plastic in the grocery store.

The conversation on death can be about how the death of a person is different than the death of an animal, for cultural, spiritual, and intellectual reasons.
 

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That's pretty normal. I think it would be a good opportunity to explain the permanance of death (some children struggle to grasp it) and why we must respect a creature's death.

My son was 4 when my grandmother died. He was extremely attached to her but I didn't want to sugar coat the process because I knew it would confuse him more. We knew we were losing her so I explained to him prior to her death that she would be dying soon and when that happens, we can no longer see her physically but we will always be able to remember her and think about all of the reasons why we love her. I told him that she is only ever a memory away. When she died, I reiterated it. He understood and he loves to talk about her to this day - the same with my grandfather, whom we lost months later.

But one cute thing he does though is now that he understands death exists, he thinks everything from Grandma to the batteries in his toys "go to live in his heart". From the lowliest pill bug and up, everything gets a place in his heart to be remembered. :)
 

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"I always figured death is about the same for people as it is critters. Perhaps you could enlighten me as to the difference."

Critters don't discuss it.


I wonder if he was just wanting a fresh chicken or had an idea that the other parts were edible. There has been a little stuff in the news (granted he isn't a news reader at that age) about the chicken feet market in China.
 

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YH, Depending on whether you belong to a cannibalistic culture or not, will change how the culture treats death. Depending on if you a spiritual or religious, that religion or spiritual belief will change how the deaths are treated/viewed. Depending on your intellectual and practical beliefs, deaths will be approved or disapproved.

So without turning this into a religious, intellectual or cultural debate/war, our beliefs, the ones we hand down to the generations, will color our beliefs on the difference between animal/food deaths and human/family deaths.
 

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YH, Depending on whether you belong to a cannibalistic culture or not, will change how the culture treats death. Depending on if you a spiritual or religious, that religion or spiritual belief will change how the deaths are treated/viewed. Depending on your intellectual and practical beliefs, deaths will be approved or disapproved.

So without turning this into a religious, intellectual or cultural debate/war, our beliefs, the ones we hand down to the generations, will color our beliefs on the difference between animal/food deaths and human/family deaths.
Ok, I see where you are coming from.... the survivors perspective. I was thinking more along the lines of the one doing the dying. A dead animal looks pretty much the same as a dead person to me. Neither one is doing much.
 

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I'm not sure how his little mind was working. Based on the conversation he was asking a lot about death because he kept asking if it was dead and why it didn't have a head, where it's feet where, etc. He's seen a turkey being killed so he knows. He also knows that we have some chickens that we are going to eat. So I guess he must have just decided we were going to eat them right then and there. Beats me. I swear I don't understand what he's talking about half the time. :p

"I always figured death is about the same for people as it is critters. Perhaps you could enlighten me as to the difference."

Critters don't discuss it.


I wonder if he was just wanting a fresh chicken or had an idea that the other parts were edible. There has been a little stuff in the news (granted he isn't a news reader at that age) about the chicken feet market in China.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
We did lose 2 dogs last year and he was there for the burial of both. I explained they were in Heaven and we'd never see them again and such. Sometimes he asks about them still.

We had another dog I was concerned about and mentioned I hoped he hadn't died no the way home and DS piped up from the back seat, "We aren't going to eat him are we." I told him we may someday. It's an option. lol

I guess maybe I'm over thinking it because he's become OBSESSED with feeding spiders. Loves to catch the bugs to give them and then watch them get eaten. I find it rather interesting myself. I guess I hope he isn't as detached from death as I am. Sometimes I feel like I just am not normal since having loved ones die doesn't impact me all that much.
That's pretty normal. I think it would be a good opportunity to explain the permanance of death (some children struggle to grasp it) and why we must respect a creature's death.

My son was 4 when my grandmother died. He was extremely attached to her but I didn't want to sugar coat the process because I knew it would confuse him more. We knew we were losing her so I explained to him prior to her death that she would be dying soon and when that happens, we can no longer see her physically but we will always be able to remember her and think about all of the reasons why we love her. I told him that she is only ever a memory away. When she died, I reiterated it. He understood and he loves to talk about her to this day - the same with my grandfather, whom we lost months later.

But one cute thing he does though is now that he understands death exists, he thinks everything from Grandma to the batteries in his toys "go to live in his heart". From the lowliest pill bug and up, everything gets a place in his heart to be remembered. :)
 

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Oh he's also a fan of saying he wants to go fishing so he can kill it and eat it.

I don't honestly believe he'd ever want to kill anything though. Probably just all talk.
I took my daughter fishing when she was 4. She talked really big about catching the fish and eating them all up, but that was before she actually CAUGHT one!

Once she looked at it and touched its slimy side, she decided she did NOT want to eat that, and so we put it in the water and watched it swim away!

She became a keen fisherman while she was growing up, and she did eat the later fish that she caught, but when she touched her first fish with the tip of one finger is was just a little too much for her, LOL!
 

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Yup. My grandkids, GDS7 & GDD9, were watching me butcher a pig Sunday. They always like to look at the heart and other innards, but this time they were paying attention to the pig's genitals. We ended up discussing sperm, eggs (yes, GDD, you have eggs and GDS has sperm) various tubes, and babies. MY DS apparently overheard us, because later, when the kids had moved on to feeding apples to the sheep (dead animals are only interesting for so much time), he said I did fine when I told him I needed to find out what their parents wanted me to tell the GKids. At this rate, my son may not need to have The Talk. I may get sucked into it...
Kit
 

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When the kids were little, and they wanted to know what was for the next meal, we always told them. "Dead chicken/cow/pig" or "Roast Beast". (We were in suburbia then). Never seemed to bother them.
 

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It sounds pretty normal to me. When I was a little boy ( after dad found dead birds laying all over the yard and caught me shooting fish in the lake ) my dad told me that I shouldn't kill anything that I wasn't going to eat. It took several years for that lesson to sink in.
 

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I don't remember ever having either the sex talk or the death talk with my parents. I guess living on the farm I just took in all the facts of life by osmosis.

For now we live in the city and the other day we were watching tv and there was a dead body that appeared on screen about the same time my three year old walked in. We've never talked about death and I don't know where else he would have seen it, but out of nowhere he says, "she's dead". Then turned around and left the room.
 

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I don't think kids who are totally sheltered from death are being done any favors. I think it's important for kids to understand that the animals we eat die for our sustenance and that their lives (and deaths) are to be respected. My kids often thank the chicken on their plate for giving its' life for our dinner and it has taught them to be less wasteful.

My nine year old recently got a taste of what a poultry factory farm looks like on a field trip and she came home telling me how glad she was that the chickens we eat live much happier lives. I was so proud of her for understanding.
 
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