I have nothing against those that abdicate from their position in the food chain; their stance leaves more animals for consumption by those that remain in their correct place.
We get a great deal of things from meat, like taste and the satisfaction of being king of the aforementioned dog-eats-dog or, more accurately, animal-eats-smaller-or-less-advanced-in-combat-animal sequence.
Apparently there is other stuff too, like protein and iron.
These were things not lost on me as my son’s diet matured.
While his eating consisted exclusively of mushed or mashed stuff, he was happy to eat all sorts, so I could easily give him what I thought was a balanced meal, like meat and vegetables.
However when he moved on to chewing stuff for himself, he was quite lazy.
He obviously liked the taste of all things animal, as he had eaten them previously, but he could not be bothered to gnaw them in their less puréed form. Instead, deciding that sausage chomping was the hardest his jaw he was going to work.
I got that covered quickly, as I discovered that farm shops, bless them, are quite happy selling all sorts of tubed flesh, not exclusively pigs.
Beef, chicken, lamb and even venison varieties were purchased, and then eaten by my little fella without quibble.
Which as an aside, I have yet to discover why some animals lose their original moniker when they are presented in edible form.
Like cow becomes beef, pig turns to pork, yet chicken remains chicken. Anyone know why?
Over time my son has improved his jaw muscles, to such an extent he now eats all the aforementioned in their more traditional supplied formats.
Steak is the last of the meats to be cracked.
I am a very proud daddy.
I am also proud that he understands what he is eating.
Being a simpleton I have generally referred to meats by the animal from which they come from, cow is listed as my favourite food in plenty of places.
This has not escaped my son’s attention, and it is also a trait he has started to mimic.
Last week he was amusingly speculating upon the life of the chicken he was eating, he was being a little optimistic actually, do I read like a free-range procuring type of person?
We also had a tale over some pork sausages, but on that occasion we had visitors for tea, including some of his friends, who looked genuinely confused and mortified by his suggestions.
It seemed that was a real revelation for these children, that the food I had just served them was once of the living variety.
Evidently it had not occurred to me that this is something that is not shared with children unilaterally.
But lying about it is surely just the long way to the truth, as it so often is.
A truth, that they can then understand for themselves, and make any decision to where they sit with that information, as their own opinions and takes on the world develop.
By not telling them, as parents, are we not already enforcing a feeling that this is a bad thing, hence why it is hidden?
That will be the start of my defence, when the village’s children take to exclusively eating plants, and their parents blame me, anyway.