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Japanese Elementary Schoolers Learn Fate of Cows on Farm Trip

The children's reaction is food for thought. How many people think of the plants and animals that are the source of their food when they are eating it?

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Grade schoolers visit a cow farm in Japan (Source: OKM/PIXTA via Grape Japan)


Japanese people usually say 頂きます itadakimasu (literally, "I take") at the beginning and ご馳走様 gochisosō-sama (literally "it was delicious") at the end of meals. Although most people don't usually stop and think about the original meaning and intent of these now formulaic expressions, they are meant to convey gratitude for taking the lives of plants and animals in recognition of human beings' role in the food chain.

Manga artist 牛川いぬお Inuo Ushikawa (@TDQFRYtruJY7ZxR), who works on a dairy farm, drew a manga about elementary school students who visited on a school trip one day. This happened before the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The children, who were between 8 and 10 years old, seemed to enjoy listening to the director and the dairy farmers who talked to them, as well as seeing all the cows.

However, when they learned that the cows they were looking at would be turned into meat for human consumption, one girl, who had been very talkative until then, said very briefly: "Poor cows."

The rest of the article ー along with manga about children visiting the farm ー can be viewed on our partner’s website, grape Japan at “Japanese elementary schoolers learn fate of cows on farm trip; their reaction is food for thought.



(You may also like: [Hidden Wonders of Japan] ‘Monster Wolf’ Helps Yamagata Farmers Protect the Fields)

Author: Grape Japan.

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