Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Lies We Tell Our Children

Why do we teach our babies that animals can talk human talk? Why do we want our children to be convinced that there is a Santa Claus and a tooth fairy? Why do we let children believe in trains and giant red dogs that think and talk like humans? I am not comfortable lying to my children.

Perhaps society wants its children to think that farm animals are cute and cuddly and can sing and dance because society wants to conceal the grim reality of death on the farm. Most farm animals are raised to be slaughtered in high-speed killing factories which contaminate the meat with e. coli. Maybe they should have tours for kindergardeners at those slaughterhouses. I'm not a vegan but I haven't eaten beef in years.

And teaching children to believe in Santa sure is a convenient way for religious people to convince them that there is also a god. Get them while they're young, very young, and impressionable.

I'm not trying to take away the joys of childhood. Pretending is fun. I wonder how much is really lost of a child's trust in his parents when he realizes that he's been lied to all those years, and how much active life-learning time has been lost spent believing that Santa exists?


Anonymous said...

Why do we teach our babies that animals can talk?

My cat talks to me everyday. I just don't know what she says because I don't speak cat. I leave a window open and she comes and goes as she pleases 10 -20 times a day. And everytime she comes in she looks right at me and meows 3 or 4 times, and waits for me to respond by saying something while looking at her before she does anything else. Everytime.

I wonder if she wonders why humans can't communicate properly?

... edger ;-)

John Mann said...

I'm far more interested in asking the question, "Why teach our children that animals can't talk"?

Animals are perfectly capable of communicating with each other in ways we might not, as humans, be able to understand. My dog is able to communicate his needs to me in many ways, and is quite able to not only understand what I say to him, but to read my expressions, actions - and probably my mind to some extent.

I live in an area that has a wide and large variety of wild animals. I often walk in remote forests and hear ravens talking with each other - they have many ways to vocalize. I have often imitated ravens, and have had ravens fly down and stand very close to me, making various sounds as I make them. Ravens and crows (and many other birds) can be taught to imitate humans to the point where they sound exactly like them.

I could give many other examples, but you get the point.

I raised four kids; they are all wonderful human beings with wonderful imaginations - and they have no doubts that animals can talk.

EssKay said...

Wow! Most excellent comments! I should have been more specific in my rant. I was referring to animals like those portrayed in 'Lady And The Tramp' and children's books, etc.

I grew up with animals, and I recently lost my beautiful cat Meisha to old age. 18. She was an intelligent yacker.

I've always admired ravens. Have you read 'Crows' by Charles Dickinson? Terrific book.

Thanks for commenting.