How do they kill animals for us to eat? Looking for kid-friendly version for a 6yo.


I’ve never hunted, nor fished, nor been apart of the killing/processing of any kind of meat.

My 6yo is asking me how animals end up on our plate. I tend to over-explain and I think that wouldn’t be healthy in this situation.

In: 1322

Cows are “shot” in the head with a metal bolt.

Chickens are stunned via electricity then their heads are cut off.

When hunting, an ethical person only takes the shot which will have the least suffering for the animal.


ETA: You could also say that the people harvesting the animals (usually) try to kill them in the quickest & least painful way possible. Leave out the details.

We don’t generally use hunting methods to kill farm-produced food animals (cows, etc.)…a really good hunting shot will quickly kill an animal but it’s still not particularly efficient.

The actual killing is done by “exsanguination”…removing their blood, typically by slitting their throat (big animals) or cutting their heads off (small ones). They are stunned first; there are multiple ways to stun them that all come down to electricity (shock them), gas (take away their oxygen and they fall asleep), or physically knocking them unconcious (by whacking their brain).

None of this is very kid friendly, but it’s real. The part I’d emphasize is that, done properly, the animal is stunned unconscious so it doesn’t feel anything anymore then they drain the blood out so they can carve it up into the meat we eat.

The part you probably don’t want to get into is that slaughterhouses’ record of doing this *well* is…not great.

Just go Lion King with it. Animals eat other animals, and that includes humans. People raise animals like cows and pigs and chickens on farms, and when it’s time, they kill them as quickly and painlessly as possible, prepare them as food, and sell the meat to the grocery store.

Sounds brutal, but that’s because it is. Tough conversation.

Edit: added the part about being as quick and painless as possible.

Be actually honest, let your kid make an informed decision, modern farming is brutal. If you lie to them and they find out later and the issue is close to their hearts, it’ll cause a distrust and damage your relationship. There are plenty of videos out there like earthlings and dominion.