goat02I received the following comments:

In ______________ we had a small farm. One of my pet animals was a goat that followed me everywhere I went. Sometimes on my way to school, he would follow me to school and I had to bring it back and lock him in the corral. One day I returned from school and my goat was hanging down and his blood was being drained to make blood sausages.

The painful experience was that I looked at the goat as a pet while my grandparents looked at it as food. I agree with you, that some things have to die, to give us life for the cycle of life to continue.

It is hard thing when children make a pet of an animal and the parents fail to acknowledge that. I suppose if a child was in the habit of making a pet of everything, there would be nothing a farmer could do. But in the case of one animal being “special,” it would be nice if the parents could be sensitive to that. I suppose part of it would have to depend on how poor the parents are, and whether or not they can afford to be gracious to the child. Perhaps this is one advantage of the American habit of having animals that actually are “pets.” A child can be given one of these to pour love into, and hopefully not start to love an animal meant for eating. Pets can be great for teaching children good lessons, but they can also teach very bad lessons. Having a pet slaughtered for food seems like a better candidate for teaching bad lessons than good ones. The good lessons would hopefully include compassion for things weaker and subservient to you. The bad lessons could include a callousness towards subservient and weaker beings. Both these lessons could spill over into how one treats and interacts with humans, not just animals. I hope at least your parents didn’t make you eat any of your pet.