They've always knows, we've never hidden it from them, so they've never had a reaction. We buy a live steer every year, bring it to the local locker, and have it slaughtered & cut up - a couple of summers ago we drove out to the farm and we "met" our steer, they petted his nose, called him by name (he was named by the owner, he was a State Fair champion), and they knew & were excited that we were going to be eating him. Quite often when we had beef they'd ask or we'd say "here's ___, he's pretty tasty!". Chickens, pigs, they know it all.
Same with the garden - they help plan & plant the garden every year, weed it, harvest the goodies, plan meals with the stuff, prep it (wash, oldest can cut & helps can).
They know milk comes from a cow's udders (though we're switching to other milks now).
They know it all and love to eat it all.
at 1:43 PM on Jan. 27, 2011