Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Conrad, my little animal rights activist
Conrad, Conrad, Conrad. I have loved his name ever since I was 12. To finally have a Conrad of my own is a dream come true. To watch him grow physically and to see his personality sprout has been an amazing adventure and has taught me that the nature vs. nurture argument is at a draw. He was born with an inquisitive and venerable disposition. I will often say he is an old man in an 8-year-old's body. If he has a choice to sit at the children's table or with the adults, he will always find a space with the adults. He sees every rule and moral issue in black and white. Conrad enjoys being cheeky and he is precocious to say the least, but he is full of spirit, passion and love especially towards his family and animals. His adoration for animals started when he spoke his 1st word. No it wasn't "Mama" or "Dada," it was "Kitty" and "Puppy." We knew then, that an obsessions was budding. Later at age 2, he became fascinated by horses and being an adventurous type of child, he was willing to feed and even ride on them whenever an occasion permitted.
I'm going to skip a few years of his life and highlight an episode when we lived in Guadalajara, Mexico. During our summer of 2006, a lot was happening in the world: The presidential elections in Mexico, The World Soccer Championship, and the Bullfights in Madrid. I'm sure there was much more going on at that time, but to be honest, those were the only things showing on our Mexican television. As we watched the bull fighting, I realized that it wasn't just a show, but that they (the matadors) were slowly killing the bull, by stabbing him with their swords, so that in the end the "head matador" could kill the bull with great ease.
It's all rather barbaric, in my opinion and in Conrad's as well. So, after ranting and raving about the inhumanity of it all and plotting a search and rescue mission to Spain, to take back the Bulls, (Heaven only know where they would end up, probably our apartment) Conrad decided to become a vegetarian!!!
It was short lived, a week really. (Guadalajara has fabulous street tacos!!!)
But the vigor and vim started such a blaze in his soul, that I think he could make any loyal PETA member blush.
Case in point: (This was a dialog I had with Conrad just last week when we saw a dead, un-squished squirrel in the road. I think he died of natural causes or by falling, due to unsure footing.)
Conrad: Mom, I need you to be completely honest with me.
(I was afraid he was going to ask me about Santa Claus or Sex.)
Conrad: Do you love squirrels more than me?
me: (chuckling) No, I do not love squirrels more than you.
Conrad: ha! Just as I thought, you don't care about animals at all, do you?
me: (laughing) I care about animals, but I'm not going to cry when I see a dead squirrel in the road. It's just the "Circle of life."
Conrad: Mom, this isn't the Lion King, this is for REAL! and you just don't care.
(I must admit I was thinking "Lion King." Is that bad?)