Most of the animal-loving kids I know have tried, at one point or another, to eat a vegetarian diet. Only one of our two sons fits this category, and as he hates vegetables, the experiment was extremely short-lived. Still, kids see clearly that eating animals requires violence against the animal, and they understand that there is a certain dissonance between eating a few strips of bacon for dinner and then cuddling up at bedtime with your favorite stuffed pig.
The impulse to think morally about what we eat doesn’t end in childhood, nor is it confined to the question of killing animals. Both The New Yorker and Slate, have probing pieces about our food supply, and what it takes to get dinner from the fields and slaughterhouses onto our plates.
I have to admit that this isn’t an issue I’ve thought very hard about. I try not to waste food, but I don’t think hard about the environmental impact of agribusiness, and I am willing to excuse a raft of sins against creation if it puts food in front of hungry people. That some creatures eat other creatures seems to me a fact of creation, but having said that, I don’t think about the lives led by the animals I eat or the way in which they were killed.
Anyway, have a look at these very smart articles.