36/52 (the quail & lifestyle choices)


A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014.

Harry :: Soccer season over.

Wyatt :: Master builder.

Flynn :: Hold still.

Belly :: Toes almost gone.

An unfortunate thing happened the other day. We lost another quail. That’s three now (ouch, what is going on? I don’t know). Number one and two were (we are fairly certain) victims of other quail (who knew they were so aggressive towards one another? Not us). That first one seemed a bit of a mystery until the nursery we bought more from explained some things to us. Note to selves: research animals before accepting as gifts. Number three, however, went in a supremely unfortunate way. Overnight, she had somehow climbed headfirst into the feeder (it’s like a tiny upside down bucket, with a tray at the bottom, so, due to the angles, much harder to get out than in. It’s also been raining a lot this last week. It rained that night, and all the next morning, and I didn’t visit our birds until the afternoon. This is when I found her. Headfirst in the food, water filling up the bucket, and (obviously) not moving. I felt so bad for her poor, unfortunate end. I removed the bucket and bird. I put new food for our remaining two into an open tray. It’s a temporary solution. It will get messy, surely, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s a far better alternative to what could happen again. I opened the bucket and tray, poured the mushy food onto the grass and left the quail there too. I figured an animal could have a nice meal overnight. No sense in her going to waste, right?

The next morning I looked out the kitchen window. She had been moved slightly, but was still there. Damn. I didn’t like looking at her. Guilt? Yuck factor? The thought I may have to go and bury her? I’m not sure what made me so uncomfortable.

Last week, a friend of mine who has recently moved to Singapore* walked past some frogs who had been flayed alive, and were hanging in the marketplace. It really upset her. She questioned humanity. She made a joke about preferring the company of cats to people. But my first thought on reading this was how her cat would probably really enjoy the tortured frogs. Does that make me insensitive? Why hasn’t something eaten that darn quail yet?

Aren’t you a vegetarian? Why aren’t you more upset?

My mum says that I first asked to stop eating meat at age four. By twelve, I was a vegetarian. I’ve gone through many phases of why, but essentially, I think it’s gross. The whole concept. I’m also not comfortable eating anything I don’t believe I could kill and prepare. I don’t think eating meat is  wrong, although I do have definite opinions on the industry, and make informed decisions when choosing ethically raised/farmed meats for my family.

I’ve noticed an increase in pragmatism through motherhood. Where I used to feel queasy around raw meat, I’m more likely to just get stuck in and get it cooked for the boys, all who love meat, and so far seem to have no issue with the concept.

What are you doing to that pig/cow/sheep?? (I ask as they tap on these legoish animals in Minecraft, red lights flashing, falling down carcasses).

We need ham/leather/wool.

Oh, okay.

(I still have Ivan stuff and tie up the turkey, though. Because that kind of stuff is gross.)

For some reason, the boys have never seen any hypocrisy in mama choosing not to eat meat, and their own dislike of certain foods (particular veggies, combining ingredients that they’d happily eat separately, I don’t like the name of that, oh wait, it’s yummy, okay I’ll have more thanks). I’m grateful for this, as it’s something I had assumed would happen. Instead, they’re learning that it’s okay for different people to make different choices, and, moreover, one persons choice or lifestyle isn’t a judgement on your own. (Okay, so I’m hoping they’re taking this simple lesson learnt here, and can apply it to bigger things later on in life!)


We went out to lunch Sunday with my dad for Father’s Day. By the time we came home, the quail was gone. Relief.


(Linking up with Jodi, from Practising Simplicity).


*P.S. You can go have a read of her freshly minted blog here, where she’s chronicling the ups and downs of her move, amongst other things.