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Advice on approptiate age for learning about meat production

Hello All.

I need a bit of advice and some opinions. While I'm vegan I understand that many are not, so I know the responses are sure to be varied. That's exactly why I started here.

What thoughts do you have on what age is appropriate for children to learn about factory farming? Some of the images and info are truly disturbing and heart breaking. I try hard to let my kids grow up to be their own person, form their own opinions and the like, but I feel as if I'm abdicating my role (to a certain degree) for not teaching my children about things in which I think are horrid.

Also, does anyone have thoughts/recommendations on specific resources that might be kid friendly, but also accurate.

Thanks, grace and peace to all.
-Frank

I'm very non-veg*n right now, due to my body's decision to reject dietary fiber.... (I say this just to explain my long time absence/lack of activity in this community.)

In my mind, I feel the age you find it right to introduce the notion of slavery to a child, is the same for other 'horrors of humanity'. And in much the same way, you (for lack of a better term) generalize the actions done initially, getting more specific and graphic as the child matures. (IE A 4  year old doesn't need to know slaves were raped; all I would tell them was a lot or most of them were treated very badly and some even died because of it.)

I could feasibly see introducing the notions of factory farming as early as 3 (maybe 2), if it is something you feel strongly about. Simply give them the idea of staying indoors ALL DAY EVERY DAY and not having room to play as an example of what factory farming is like for the animals (like a life long timeout).

http://www.themeatrix.com

Is a pretty good accurate depiction of it, I'd say it is appropriate for ages 8+

Hope this helps!

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I agree. Adjust details according to age. You can explain the basics without getting too graphic.

I just checked this book out from the library:
http://wedonteatanimals.com/

I read it to my 6/7 year olds and I thought it was appropriate for them.

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We know what it is like to have the images of factory farms in our heads (and we learned about them so much later in life). I don't want my sons burdened with that for most of their lives. I tell them about it, but don't really show them. I do like the little comic books the PETA has for kids. Not toooo graphic.  XpixieX...I have that book too (handed down from Carmon!).
My 10 year old has seen some things.....sort of by accident over my shoulder, and he has told me himself it makes him too sad to watch.
I think they should be told about factory farms and taught to appreciate animals and how animals have feelings (we have books on that too), but I'd be hesitant to expose them to Meet your Meat or anything like that. Although if my son was rebelling and wanting to eat meat, I might strap him down and make him watch it! (haha)

Good luck!

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This is tough because all kids are so different.  My daughter is 4 and has been a Vegetarian since before she was born.  I have not told her about factory farming, but have told her we dont eat animals because they are beautiful and deserve to live just like us.  She has not questioned it any further.  I do think before she enters kindergarden (she will be going on 6), I will show her one of the more tame videos on the subject.
I would recommend this http://www.themeatrix.com/  gets the message across without being sad.

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I just tell my 5 year old that not everyone treats the animals nicely. If we ate them, it would encourage them to get more, so we don't.

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Any age your child starts to ask questions is an okay age to talk about why you don't eat animals. Just keep it overall a positive and friendly message that focuses more on how you help animals and let animals live by not eating animal food and less on specifics about what happens to animals etc. Peta has some kid-friendly resources and that book that is linked looks so cute!

You could try phrases like, "Animals get to live a long, happy life when we choose not to eat them." or "Sometimes the people who make animals food are mean to them and we don't want to support that."

You could also talk about how chickens, cows etc. are smart animals just like dogs and cats and having them in our world makes it a better place.

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We just got a book called "And That's Why We Don't Eat Animals" by Ruby Roth.  My daughter is 5, almost 6, and wanted me to buy it for her. The hubbs and I are vegan, and she is vegetarian.  I hadn't read it before we read it together, and I thought it explained veganism, factory farming, and being kind to animals in a way that a 5+ year old kid could handle.  She was sad afterward, but she told me she wanted to become vegan, so she wouldn't hurt animals.

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Big ups on those peta comic books aimed towards kids. I read a bunch of those in florida and thought they were great.

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I just tell my 5 year old that not everyone treats the animals nicely. If we ate them, it would encourage them to get more, so we don't.

This is one I've used to explain our lack of dairy.

For my family, we've just focused on how much we love and respect animals. But we've also addressed the issue honestly.

"Why don't we eat hamburgers?"

"Because it's made out of a cow. The cow had to be killed to make it."

"Ooooh..."

Let the child guide the discussion. You'll probably find that they will direct you to what they really want to know, and then you can - age appropriately - explain for them.

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My five year old just asked me about this topic, because she had a book on sharks and it talked about shark soup. I explained that some people ate animals, but it was not nice for the animals, so we did not. She just thought it was "silly" that people wanted to eat them and left it at that. As she gets older, I'll answer her questions as they come up.

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