I’m with 2 Chinese co-workers walking and talking. One has a 4 year old daughter and a pet rabbit. I have no idea how we got on the topic but she was saying how cute and small the rabbit was and how large and smelly now. She asked her daughter if it would be OK to get rid of the rabbit. The daughter asked if for her 5th birthday meal if she could eat her rabbit. We were asked what we thought of this for she didn’t know what to do. My other co-worker says that she should not be the one to take care of this matter but take it to the butcher.
They turn to me. I start us with a “well”… and a pause, their eyes are on me, I feel I need to be careful with my response. I explain how there is a view that in the western world we have become too far removed from our food sources but we would never eat a pet by choice. It could be a difference in opinions and culture I explain. Just as in certain parts of the country, dog is eaten, we can’t imagine eating dog, differences. I try to pull my comment off as light and airy as if normal conversation. I don’t think I did too well.
I did ask if she thought her daughter in the future would be psychologically scarred by eating her pet rabbit. She said probably not for she asked to eat it. I share the story of Chucky. Chucky was a steer for whatever reason we had in our barn. Oh, I know the reason and how sick is it that his name was Chucky (like ground chuck)! One day we went off with the neighbors and came back and there was Chucky hanging from a tree. I did not eat any meat that was cooked in our house for a year for knowing there was a good chance it was Chucky. My sister would torment me by saying how good Chucky was and asking for more Chucky, I am scarred from this experience to this day.
It also reminds me of someone who just arrived in Shanghai and made a comment about a pet store. She was told it is not a pet store but a restaurant.
Differences, just differences.
I can’t bring myself to ask about the decision on the bunny.