My parents have a lovely ranch in the beautiful Texas Hill Country. It is always a peaceful visit and much-needed escape from the madness of our daily lives. We usually spend most of the time just hanging out with family, enjoying the outdoors and being far away from anything or anyone.
There are an abundance of deer that run alongside as we drive by. My kids love to watch them. They really are very graceful animals, able to leap high fences with such amazing ease.
One trip, however, my brother-in-law went hunting (yes, in season) with my dad and husband, and came back with a deer. The kids were in bed when they dragged the body of the limp creature away from the car and then hung it upside down to prepare it. It is a gruesome process, I must admit, and I certainly had no desire to watch it. For that matter, I had a hard time sampling the meat when it came back from processing. Anyway, my daughter heard the commotion and came out and saw, to her horror, the deer (I will leave out gory details, but it was an awful sight). She screamed and went on and on the rest of the night about how she was so mad at her uncle for killing the deer and that she would NEVER eat a deer. She also vowed to tell her future husband he was not allowed to kill a deer, either. She was quite upset, poor thing. I told her it was okay to kill an animal if you need it for food, but that we never kill for fun or for sport. I told her that when she eats chicken and beef, that was once a little animal, too.
That was a year ago. Ever so often, when we visit the ranch and we see a deer, she tells me how she would never kill one.
We just returned from a nice visit, and of course, the deer killing thing came up immediately with the first deer we saw.
“I am never killing a deer,” she announced.
“But you eat cows and they were killed,” the 8-year old pointed out.
“Yeah, but cows are stupid,” she replied.
“Why are cows stupid and deer are not?” I asked, already amused.
“Well, when there is a tornado, cows just stand there eating grass like this.” She did her best cow smacking grass impression. “And even though the tornado is coming, they just keep eating grass. They don’t run away or do anything. They just let themselves die by the tornado! And that is stupid.”