From an early age, most kids have a natural affection for animals. Ask any three-year-old if it’s okay to hurt a dog or a pig and they will most certainly say “no” almost every time. They innately know that harming animals is wrong.
Many parents then tell a series of lies to their kids. Lies such as:
1) “We have to eat meat to live.” Or similarly, “we can’t be healthy without meat.”
2) “That’s just how it is.”
3) “It’s what they were put here/bred for.”
4) “It’s okay if it’s done humanely.”
These are just a few of the lies parents tell kids to desensitize them to the violence that they knew was wrong. Over the years, these lies seep into the fabric of their thought, reinforced by a culture that upholds the lies. By the time they are older, they have developed a cognitive dissonance when it comes to animals. That is to say, they know that harming animals is wrong, yet simultaneously hold a conflicting belief that it’s okay to harm them in certain situations. Treating animals with kindness is such a simple and convincing concept for kids, that it takes an entire culture built on lies from the time they are born to overcome their natural instincts. But it’s a powerful one, because when your parents and society tell you something is okay, kids are hard-wired to believe it.