I feel a need to share about some issues we’re dealing with in order to get feedback regarding our relationships with others.
We got to enjoy about a year of experience with raising chickens and during that time, we all, especially our now 12yo dd, learned a lot about what beautiful and intelligent creatures these animals really are, each with his or her own unique personality. Dd1 no longer eats chickens and is, of course, very upset by what we have learned about their inhumane treatment in many agricultural settings, and also by the fact that chickens are not even protected by animal rights laws.
As for dh and me, we’ve come to a more general realization that everything has a consciousness, and we realize that the logical and humane response to this is to either become vegan or only consume animals/animal products that have been raised/produced humanely. However, we are a couple that started our family with pretty much the “standard American” view of eating, and we are now also severely economically challenged and feel kind of stuck with the need, for now, to buy most of our food at places like Aldi’s.
For us, right now, it’s a matter of using our very limited budget in a balanced way – on the one hand, making sure we have enough of the food our daughters already like (and their preferences have been greatly influenced by dh’s and my previous habits) so that they won’t ever be hungry, and on the other hand, moving toward a more natural, ethical way of eating and continuing to introduce a wider variety of fruits and vegetables. They do enjoy some fruits and vegetables a lot, and always have, but I am working to instill, in our whole family, a greater appreciation for natural foods as well as a respect for the whole circle of life.
Our 12yo, in contrast, is quite naturally focused specifically on the chickens with whom she developed loving relationships and whom she called by name. She has gradually come to grips with the fact that most of the world is going to keep on eating chickens, but she still becomes very upset when she hears people speak about them in an uncaring way.
Dh and I, as adults, realize that everyone is in a different place on his or her journey, and we can also remember a time when we had our own very ignorant and disrespectful attitudes toward the sanctity of animal life. This helps us to avoid feeling too upset or judgmental regarding the (in our opinion) ignorant attitudes of some other people. We also don’t feel at all inclined to confront or argue with other people about this topic, knowing that everyone has to come to their own realizations in their own time.
It looks like I will need to finish my story in a second post, because I'm not able to add the rest in this post.
Edited by mammal_mama - 1/9/13 at 12:27pm