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Explaining veganism to my toddler

I am a vegan raising a 3 year old boy with my vegetarian husband. My son eats a mostly vegan diet but occasionally eats ice cream/dairy treats when visiting his grandparents, friends, etc.

Here's my dilemma:

My son is a wonderful, sensitive boy. He loves animals. He's never eaten meat.

However, he loves animals so much, that he keeps saying he wants to eat meat so he can have the animal in his tummy.

Like, he loves animals so much that he wants them inside of him (this is how my 3-year-old's mind works).

I've explained to him that loving animals means letting them live and be free, etc etc but I'm not getting through to him.

Any advice on how to explain why we don't eat meat?

Ask him if he'd like it if someone said, "I love you so much I want to eat you--for real." How would he feel about that?
How would he feel about taking a bite out of Mom, Dad or Granny?
Why wouldn't he like it? Oh, it would hurt?
Well, yeah--it would hurt the animals, too. And they wouldn't like it.

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It sucks but be honest with him. tell him that animals don't like being eaten, it hurts them.

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