This last Thanksgiving, my niece put together the connection between "turkey" the food and "turkey" the animal. She said that she was eating turkey, but not turkey like the animal. Her grandmother informed her that she was in fact eating a turkey. My niece said that's silly because people don't eat animals (and kind of laughed). She said that [family dog] is an animal and we don't eat her. She looked very concerned and sad when she realized her grandmother was serious about the turkey. Her mother saw where this was going and intervened. She said she WILL NOT have a vegetarian child. She explained to her daughter that God put animals on the planet for humans to eat and that it's ok. She said that we eat certain animals, but not others. This made no sense to my 5 year old niece. An animal is an animal in her mind, and she had not realized that people were feeding her animals. Her mother does not want her to be a vegetarian because the rest of her family are heavy meat eaters. She knows that I don't eat animals. I don't advertise it. It is just known. When she asks me about eating animals, what am I supposed to say? I can't NOT answer her questions. I can eat veg food with her without volunteering my point of view just fine, but when she asks about it, I don't know what to say. I don't want to make her mom mad by "brainwashing" her into thinking eating meat is wrong. She's already headed that direction on her own and I want her to decide for herself if eating meat is wrong. I want to give her all of the resources to make her own decision without influencing her. I just wish someone had told me as a child that "chicken" was an actual chicken.