Hamburgers with a 5 year old

When my son was about 5 or 6 he and I were at a restaurant in Los Angeles, eating hamburgers, a favorite of his. Midway through the lunch my son, Jackson, looked closely at his sandwich. After a moment’s thought he pointed to the burger and asked me: “This is cow, right?”

“Yes, it is meat from a cow,” I answered, not sure where this was going.

“And the cow has to be killed to get the meat, right?” He asked, taking the next step.

“It has to be killed, yes.” Jackson looked thoughtful, and I figured: full disclosure, why not? “A lot of people eat hamburgers, so we need to have lots of ranches to grow cows,” I said, “and then lots of places to kill the cows to get the meat for the burgers.” I wasn’t trying to discourage him or make him think anything in particular, just laying it out for him.

Jackson took another bite from the hamburger. After chewing and swallowing carefully, he looked up and said, “I’m really glad they do that.”