Eating Peppa Pig, Peppa Pig Ham, Peppa Pig Bacon

“We Don’t Eat Peppa Pig… Do We?”

I rather mischievously call venison sausages Bambi, and more recently have taken to naming any pork one as Peppa Pig. When shopping, and given a choice, my 3-year-old daughter generally chooses the Peppa Pig sausages. She didn’t know why they were Peppa Pig sausages, just that they were.

I was wondering when the first question about where meat comes from would happen. She understands that fruit comes from trees, vegetables are grown in the ground, and eggs are from chickens. I assumed that a knowing question about where chicken or lamb comes from would be first, as they don’t have a secret identity in the way beef/steak (cow), venison (deer), and pork/ham/bacon (pig) do. Chicken is chicken, and lamb is a baby sheep (awww).

So, while we shared a lunch of a ham & cheese rolls, my daughter asked me “Where does ham come from?”. From a pig, I answered. “How does it come from the pig?”.

While I may be disingenuous at times with my daughter, I never want to lie to her. So I set about telling her an admittedly sanitised and idealised explanation.

“Ham is actually a piece of pig who was raised to be our food. A farmer looks after a pig from when it’s little, gives it good food and treats it very nicely. When it is big, the farmer decides it’s time for the pig to die, and after it does it gets chopped up into pieces. The farmer sells them, people buy them, and we cook and eat them.”

She mulled that over for a moment and then carried on eating her ham roll, seemingly undisturbed.

I was quite glad to get this out of the way relatively early. I have friends who’s children have stopped eating meat when they realise what it is.

The other day, on our walk to nursery, my daughter had by this time made a few connections, and then asked me – “We don’t eat Peppa Pig… do we?”.

It’s fair to say I don’t really like Peppa Pig. We’ve never seen the show, but the books are so poorly written I have refused to read them aloud any more. They are read the books at nursery from time to time. I also had a copywriting job where I went a little mad with all the Peppa and George tat I had to gush about. I understand the TV show is better, but I’m too preoccupied with showing her the likes of Star Wars, Studio Ghibli, and (currently) Dinosaur movies.

So I was very, very tempted to answer “Yes, we eat Peppa Pig”. But on consideration I replied “No, we don’t eat Peppa. Or George. Or their mummy or daddy.”

“But we do eat other pigs. Sausages, ham, bacon, are all from other pigs who are dead”.

Again, she pondered that for a moment, and then our walk to nursery continued.

I appreciate that as a society, we have become increasingly removed from the fact that meat is part of a dead animal. My wife has made a better go at facing this head on. When 7 months pregnant, she took it upon herself to skin, decapitate, and joint three wild rabbits that a friend had hunted – just to prove to herself that she could. We don’t have a photo of any of this, as I was hiding in the living room until the dead animals were transformed into meat, which I was then more than happy eat.

My daughter has the beginning of an understanding of where meat comes from, and so far it hasn’t conflicted with her love of cute animals. Or annoying ones like Peppa.

You Baby Me Mummy
Little Hearts, Big Love

30 thoughts on ““We Don’t Eat Peppa Pig… Do We?””

  1. Oh dear! hahah. We haven’t encountered this problem yet, but we will and I’ll be taking some tips from you! Although I may just have to say that yes, it is peppa on the plate!

  2. I’m surprised that I haven’t had to have this conversation with my two yet but, as the older of them has only just started eating meat other than sausages, I’m afraid I’m going to be creative with the truth. His need for a more balanced diet outweighs the risk of psychological damage! 😉

  3. Since my daughter craves (and I mean that literally) pulled pork and ribs, we had this conversation at an early age. Same situation. Now she’s 5 (old) and we had ribs again last night. She’s cool like that.

  4. As a (beef) farmer’s wife, I love that you’re having this conversation nice and early. It’s great how younger kids just take it as fact and move on even when it involves ‘cute’ animals.

    We quite often have a few piglets to fatten up for ourselves for pork joints and sausages, so we laugh and call them Ham, Bacon and Sausages. None of the nephews, niece or N have ever blinked an eyelid. It’s just the norm for them.

    Although the other week when we were on hols camping with some farmer friends, one of the mums asked N if the cows on the farm were ok. And what type of cows they were.

    ‘Dead ones’. She looked a bit concerned, probably wondering if the herd had tested positive for TB!
    ‘Oh, really?’
    ‘Yes, the cows are dead, otherwise we can’t eat them’.

    Made total sense to him

    #thelist.

    1. Haha. My instinct was that the earlier we have this (and other) potentially difficult conversations, the better. We even had a sex talk recently too, which was way earlier than I thought would happen!

  5. I fear I am a country boy (albeit in exile) and was raised by farming stock. I don’t beleive in hiding these awkward truths from the kids but I do ensure it’s done in a sensitive way. That said, Ideally I’d eat a vegetarian diet. I always used to emjoy it immensly.

  6. This is actually a very sensible conversation which I sometimes have to explain to my little boy too as he now started to become curious about where food come from. I don’t know if their being inquisitive is a good thing or a bad thing, we parents just need to be prepared with sensible answers all the time, aren’t we?! #bigfatlinky

    1. Oh I think it’s definitely a good thing, and how we satisfy that curiosity is a key aspect of parenting. For instance, the way I framed this discussion was emphasising the positives whereas it would be easy to present an anti-meat argument too.

  7. It’s great how well she took it. I don’t remember finding out where meat come from but as far as I can remember I knew it was from animals. When I as about 7 or 8 my parents bought half a pig from a farmer and spend the whole day butchering it into edible cuts and mince. It didn’t phase me one bit. I suppose the best way, just like you did, is just to be honest and not sugar coat it 🙂 #bigfatlinky

  8. We haven’t yet had to have this conversation but hopefully when we do hopefully it won’t involve Peppa Pig – or Timmy the Sheep!! #bigfatlinky

  9. I was at my sister’s and we had brought pizza over. Sis asked “what’s on your pizza, Uncle S?”
    “Pepperoni” I said.
    A squeak came from my 2-year-old niece. “Not Peppa!”
    “Not Peppa”, said her mum. “Pepperoni”.
    Of course, the four adults around the table all knew: it *was* Peppa, after all…

  10. We have had this conservation with our four year old twins I believe it’s better said early so they understand thanks for sharing great post

  11. Our eldest son is a fussy eater and as he grows older, we are trying our best to get him off the frozen food and onto the fresh.

    So much so, we even make our own fish goujons and chicken huggets. But still he prefers the frozen effort.

    This Sunday however, after eating our Sunday Roast, I had the normal job of stripping the remaining meat of the carcass. Halfway through, Joshua came out, watched what I was doing, took a good look up the inside of the carcass and declared ‘yuk! That’s gross’.

    Ceasing the opportunity, I then informed him that the chicken nuggets he eats contain exactly what he has just called gross. I then reminded him that the nuggets we make for him are just meat, minus the yuk.

    With that, he just looked at me and walked out of the kitchen. I’m now wondering how long I can get away with not serving chicken nuggets at dinner time for.

    Thanks for sharing #ftmob

  12. I think it’s good for children to learn early on that meat comes from animals and sounds like your daughter coped very well with making the connection that ham comes from a pig. I have to confess that I like Peppa Pig best when she’s between two slices of bread in a bacon butty! Thanks for linking up to #ftmob.

  13. It was when we had our own chickens in the backyard and I said “eat your chicken” when our boys were taking forever to eat their dinner that my (then) 5yo asked “is this chicken like our chickens?” that the seed was planted for me to go vegetarian after I lied to him and said no. The guilt of this eventually got to me. I recently went vegan but haven’t forced this upon my wife and kids and my wife would rather I not discuss the whole “meat is dead animals” to our kids just yet.

  14. Hey… why don’t you all just kill one of your younger children and eat them… teach the older ones how tasty meat is when it is fresh, and how once an animal is dead, it can be eaten and is yummy. What a bunch of blind fucks….

  15. My (just) 5 year old chastised me a week ago for eating lamb because lambs are ‘adorable’. I mentioned pigs and the ham.she loves. Pigs, she reasoned, are not adorable, therefore no problem.

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