More than once in the past 10 years, we’ve had a discussion in our house about eating meat. I live with four women (don’t bother setting up a GoFundMe on my behalf–money is not the answer), and they’ve all expressed regret/guilt over eating animals at one time or another.

My wife and my girls are all big animal lovers. They have a ton of compassion for just about any kind of animal, excluding spiders for one of them. I see this as a strength. From their interactions with animals, I know they are all growing up to be young women who will be loving and nurturing mothers. I mean, if you feel this way about animals, just imagine how you’ll feel about your own babies, right? I love animals too, but outside of our dogs, my connection to them isn’t on the same level as theirs.

Anyway, every conversation around the morality of eating meat usually contains at least one instance of me saying, “Well, in theory, you shouldn’t eat any animal you aren’t willing to kill yourself.”

Seems logical. Seems reasonable. But it’s wrong.

As the girls have matured, we’ve started having other conversations about the differences between men and women and how they lean towards certain traits and behaviors. We not only talk about the difference, but how these differences compliment one another. We talk a lot about how our differences help us fit together like puzzle pieces.

My kids often see me as a brute, especially when my thoughts and actions are held up to their more empathetic and nurturing tendencies. The idea of doing something like hunting down an animal, killing it, leaving its guts in the woods, and cutting its carcass up sounds absolutely barbaric to them.

I grew up hunting. We didn’t hunt “just for fun.” We stocked a freezer with the deer we took down every year. My personal experience with hunting was that I didn’t enjoy it all that much. I liked being out in the woods and just sitting quietly, I just didn’t like getting up early and being cold. But I never had a problem with killing an animal, because I knew we were going to eat it. In fact, it made me feel like I was helping to provide for my family whenever I killed an animal. In that way, it was really good for me, and overall a very positive experience.

I haven’t hunted at all as an adult, but I’m all for it. And I feel confident in knowing I could capably do it again if I needed to. And that, coupled with the knowledge of the different strengths men and women bring to the table, is why I was wrong to say they shouldn’t animals they aren’t willing to kill.

The truth is…

They should not eat animals that I am not willing to kill.

Bacon for breakfast girls! I got this.