How do you have the conversation with your kids about where their dinner came from? Do you skirt around the topic or give your children the facts?
Young children in particular may find it difficult to comprehend the process, which is part of the reason behind a new study from the University of Adelaide.
Led by the School of History and Politics Associate Professor Rachel Ankeny, the study aims to shed some light on Australian family attitudes to meat eating and how they approach the discussion about using animals for food production.
As part of the study, an online survey will gather the views of Australian parents on the issue of meat production and other activities related to animals. The survey will run for six weeks in total and will be open to parents of children aged between 2-16 and who eat meat.
Ms Ankeny states that to date, there has been little research done on how children develop their ideas and beliefs about animals farmed for their meat.
The study is particularly timely, given the growing support for free range meat or organic meat that has been produced through humane methods.
Parents may find the conversation easier with natural meat production processes, as these are held to a higher animal welfare standard and require strict compliance to sustainability and biodiversity requirements.
“We expect that for many parents, talking about where the meat being consumed in their household comes from may be one of those taboo or difficult topics, right up there with sex or drugs, but one that many kids want to know about,” Ms Ankeny said in an October 22 statement.
“We hope that this research will give us more information on what parents think about talking with their children about meat production and what support might be provided to help them do so in a constructive and accurate manner.”