Last night while driving home, we drove past Denny's. Jack said, "Mom, let's go to Denny's. They have good food." I said, "No they don't." And he said, "You always say that about restaurants we drive by. Why do you say that?" I had a brief mental cross roads in my head, and then I decided to take a the risky one.
"Son, those places are gross because they serve food that is irresponsible."
I dove right into a conversation about how poorly animals are treated before they are eaten. I told him about animals that don't get to walk around in the sunshine and eat bugs and play. I told him that the chicken served at Denny's and other gross places and most grocery stores are raised in dark buildings with no walking room and they walk around in their own poop and probably eat their own poop. I told him that they feed the chickens so much and make them so fat that they can't walk. I sort of word-vomited all of it up.
And he sat quiet for a long time.
And then he started with the questions.
"Who is doing this to them? What chicken should we get? How big are they? Why can't all chickens be happy?"
I began regretting telling him all of it. I thought I had done it too prematurely. But then after talking to Ethan about it, he said I should have. He needs to learn early on how to eat responsibly and respectfully. I mean, animals are God's creations after all and I think he cares about what we eat.