How do you tell your children that meat comes from animals?

Explaining to your children that meat comes from animals can be anxious times for most parents.  So what’s the best age to let them know or is it even a good idea to tell them at all? How about just let them find out one day at snack when little Bobby is eating a Slim Jim or a ham sandwich.

Okay, realistically it’s hard to put a number on an age to break the news, but It’s probably a good idea that it comes from Mom and Dad, since there will most likely be a little shock.

My son is about to turn 3 and has no idea people eat animals. He’s been raised as a vegan and just loves animals, so I imagine it’s going to be a little difficult for him to comprehend as it would probably be for most kids, vegan or not.

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Personally when the time is right, I’ll give him little doses of the truth.  I plan on telling him the truth as much as possible as he gets older.  I don’t plan on telling him about the Santa Clause thing or the Easter Bunny… just my opinion and if you still believe in both and are reading this post, DM me for some additional help.


Top 5 Foods that kids will be confused about when they find out people eat animals.

  1. Eggs- So wait Mommy, I though eggs were baby birds!
  2. Chicken- So Uncle Johnny eats the chickens on his farm, that’s not right?
  3. Bacon-  Why would anyone eat a pig, they’re so nice and smart.
  4. Hamburger-  So this chopped up red stuff is a cow? What about ole’ MacDonald, why would he let that happen?
  5. Cheese- They use calves milk to make cheese?  What if the calves run out of food?

Okay, probably a little too facetious, but you get the point.

Quick story: This past Christmas my son’s Grandfather wanted to show him the turkey that he was preparing for Christmas dinner. I was skeptical, but I gave in…great here we go. He took the lid off and said “look at this turkey, we’re going to eat this for Christmas dinner. ” My 3 year old laughed and said ” Grandpa, we don’t eat turkey’s, that’s silly.”  He thought his grandfather was kidding, so I just went with it and laughed it off! I bought myself some more time!


Side note: My soon to be 3 year old has never had animal products.  He’s in the 90 percentile with weight and height and just amazes me with his vocabulary, communication and personality, this I can say without Daddy Goggles on!

Most children love animals and most of their favorite books, songs or television shows feature animals.  So I’ll be honest, I’m not sure how I’m going to tell him yet, but I will and I’ll be ready for the difficult questions. The question is, will he be ready for the tough answers.

Eat your vegetables!




  1. I actually loved Winnie the Poo, but I always preferred a burger and I don’t remember asking myself all these deep arguments. Let the kids be kids I think. And going back to my parents that grew after the Spanish Civil war, well I don’t believe my mother asked her mother where did food came from, they were just glad they had meat. Although they had a goat, and my mother as a little girls loved that little goat. One day she suddenly disappeared….grandma took her out actually, she was very good at getting the rabbits they had by the head and with one whack brake the neck. She was a killer! And the family didn’t starve. Going back to the goat story, mommy asked her mommy where is ….. (whatever the name she put to the goat) my grandmother said she had gone to other place. Then asked her how she liked her meal, mommy smiled ear to ear and said she loved it. My grandmother smiled kindly and said she was happy for her. She was eating her darling goat. And that meat lasted them for quite a while, so while others were starving they made it. I think now a days parents over think too much or are to sensible. Just my thought, maybe is a new generation, but it seems these kids now a days are going to turn up not very prepared for real life.

    1. Thanks for the comment, very interesting story and relatable to many. Times do change, kids parenting, resources… I grew up into a family of butchers, we never asked too many questions. It smelled great and looked great. That was then for me and this is now though.
      Thanks for checking this out.

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