On the way to the gym last Saturday morning, my little grandson noticed someone had posted “Eating Animals” below the STOP on the stop sign. He asked me if I did it. I said no. He then asked me if one of my friends did it. I said I did not know who did it, but I was glad they did it. Maybe it would make someone stop and think. I mentioned I wanted to get a picture of it and he offered to take the picture as it was on his side. I also mentioned I did not believe in defacing public property, but this was a sticker and could easily be removed. Next time I drove by, it had been.
Believing in Bugs (and other small creatures)
I often wonder what it is like to be so very young and see the roots of such massive social change underway, to have one of your closest emotional ties be someone who is invested in changing things that your own immediate family is doing. The same grandson that defended the life of a bug on the first day of school, callously stepped on a bug on the way to school a few days ago. Even his older brother was shocked. When asked why he did it, he had no answer. After school, we discussed bullies and how size has little to do with importance. We talked about how bugs try so frantically to get away from us, how they seem to want to live as much as we do. My grandson said he wanted to go home; he didn’t like the talk much. It made me sad to see him go, but I knew I had to discuss what transpired on our walk to school. It was too important to ignore.
Later, he came by with his big brother’s friend, and said, “I’m sorry.”
I asked him the next day why he apologized. Was he really sorry or did his mum make him say that?
“Both,” he said.
I know some of his internal conflict is between what he is taught at my house and what the boys on the playground do. He has shared some of their antics with me and it is sadly what one might expect. He watches the older boys play violent video games and knows I object; I do not think killing should ever be for fun, even in a game. I know on the playground that bugs are fair game. So, apparently, are tender hearts.
Veganism is Love = A Storm of Controversy
It has been interesting to see the controversy from the recent publication of Ruby Roth’s new book,Veganism is Love. While I will withhold judgment until I read the book (we pre-ordered a copy), I thought her first book was a useful tool in helping my grandson understand about those of us who have stopped eating animals. Some folks find it more objectionable to talk about the killing of animals than actually killing them. I appreciate that someone used their time and talent to present our vegan side of the story, even in part; I hope more people will follow Ms. Roth’s lead. I hope that in the future, there will be books about the days when people used to eat animals, and the young children will be horrified that the things of today ever existed at all.
Earlier in the week, my grandson had discovered what appeared to be a dead butterfly. He asked for my help, and I carefully moved the animal to a small curved dish, a cradle made from a bit of broken pottery on his front porch. There was also a bug that was turned over on his back and appeared to by dying. I turned him over and we moved him to another shard of pottery. Later, we returned to see both animals had survived. My little grandson seemed so elated when he found his little friends were alive! I think his confusion over his feelings for other animals does not belong just to him, but is a reflection of the society into which he was born. There are those who unconsciously eat animals, and those who put stickers stating “Eating Animals” below stop signs, those who object to truth-telling books likeVeganism is Love and those who share the earth gratefully with other animals. I hope my grandson will become one of the people who appreciates others, whether they look like him or not, whether they have feathers, fur or scales. It is, after all, his own journey; I am just privileged to be along for this early part of the ride.