This post was inspired by Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Man a memoir by Brian McGrogry.
Growing up, my sister and I wanted pets as badly as most kids are age did. We begged and begged our mom for a dog, a gerbil, anything. Our father liked animals so it was our mom we had to convince. Eventually she gave in but with one caveat: no pets inside the home.
During our childhood we had rabbits, dogs, gerbils, guinea pigs, even a rooster. One day our rabbits mysteriously disappeared. At our next big family gathering, rabbit stew was served. We both connected the dots and refused to even taste the stew. That might have been when my sister begin refusing any meat that wasn’t chicken.
Don’t think my parents were being cruel. Raising animals for food was their way of life. They never lied to us when we asked where our meats came from. We even saw firsthand how ducks and chickens were slaughtered for food. Right in my backyard. They killed the fowl, removed the feathers, and cooked it. My large extended family worked together to prepare the chickens. Then we all sat down together to eat the fresh food that everyone prepared together. It’s one of the few times the men in my family were involved in cooking big meals, along with the women, of course.
While I don’t plan on raising my own chickens for consumption or to gather their eggs, I teach my children where their food comes from. Some of my friends were horrified to hear me teach my kids that the steak they were eating came from a cow. I don’t want them to grow up thinking their meat comes in a styrofoam tray. By teaching my kids that an animal or plant died to feed them, I want them to respect what they’re eating. To realize how much work it is to produce our food.
After the bunny incident, my sister and I opted for pets that were not usually seen as food (in my parents’ mind). We stuck to hamsters, gerbils, dogs and goldfish. I definitely didn’t want a chicken for a pet. It might become dinner one day.
This post was inspired by Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Man a memoir by Brian McGrogry. When Brian left his bachelor life to move to suburbia and join his girlfriend with her two young daughters, he had no idea he needed to win over their rooster too. Join From Left to Write on November 21 as we discuss Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Man. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.