Editor, Seattle Stranger,
The shootings in Tucson are a dramatic reminder that we are one of the world’s most violent societies. Violence governs our foreign relations, our sports and video games, and our daily diet.
Yes, our diet. Desensitization to violence begins in the home, when parents assure their naturally inquisitive, animal-loving children that chickens "give" eggs, cows "give" milk, and that pigs "give" their flesh for us to eat. The horrific daily violence and barbaric slaughter visited on these innocent animals and subsidized by us at the checkout counter gets buried in our subconscious mind.
Once our kids have learned to live with the violence of their diet, how much of a stretch is it to while away their idle hours on video games like "Mortal Kombat," "Manhunt," or "Grand Theft Auto?" How likely is this experience then to govern how they resolve a social confrontation in their neighborhood or a military one in an Afghan village?
Most of us abhor violence, but we don’t know how to prevent it.
Giving our kids an honest answer when they ask "Mommy, where do hamburgers come from?" is certainly a great start.