Tonight, my husband brought home a lobster to share with Ben for dinner. Ben, who had never seen a live lobster in his kitchen before, proceeded to quickly go through the five stages of assimilation:
1) Whoa! Dad, is that alive?!?
2) Jacob! Come see this lobster! It's alive!!
3) Can we pet it? Hey, we can keep it in the old fish tank!
4) Wait, we're going to eat it? Aw, poor little guy!
5) Wait, lobsters taste better than crab? Yum!
Ok, I made up the part about there being five stages of assimilation. But still, you can see how his thought process goes.
Jacob, on the other hand--the one who won't bait a hook because he "doesn't believe in killing innocent worms"--was appalled on more levels than I could count. That Dad had brought home a live, gigantic, bug-like creature (when he knows how much Mom hates bugs); that he put it on the kitchen counter; that it had beady eyes and moved when he petted it; that Dad was going to kill it; that Dad and Ben were then going to eat it. Indeed, it was almost enough to kill his own appetite. Until he found out he was having steak.
When I asked Jacob if he was at least going to try the lobster, he said, "Mom, it's cruel to eat animals!" It was at this point that I pointed out where steak came from. That is, an animal much softer, warmer and with bigger and sweeter eyes than a lobster.
"OK," Jacob conceded, "it's cruel to eat animals after you pet them first."
I wonder if he's going to be a lawyer or a lobbyist when he groes up. One thing I can be sure of: he definitely won't be a vegetarian. Unless he's a farmer.