Adventures In Parenting: On the Killing of Animals

One afternoon earlier this summer, my daughter was asking me if it was okay to kill animals. I explained to her that my personal feeling was that it was okay as long as you were going to eat the animals. I told her I didn’t believe you should kill animals just for their trophies (antlers, rugs, mounts, etc.) or fur–unless you actually needed it–but it is human nature to eat meat and, therefore, okay. We are omnivorous animals, after all. She thought about this awhile and summarized, “So, if you kill an animal you should eat it?”

I said, “Yes. That’s right.”

I then got to experience that beautiful moment that only parents and teachers get to enjoy, as the cogs in her mind began rotating, her thought factory coming alive. There’s little more precious than watching the mind of a child at work.

 But then she developed a perplexed look on her face before asking,

“So… when the people at the dog pound kill the dogs and cats that nobody adopts, do they eat them afterwards?”

Not wanting to relinquish what I felt was a success in instilling a virtue in my seven-year-old daughter (you dare not pass-up the rare opportunity of a teachable moment), I simply replied,


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