M: Well, some hunters are just people that need to feed their families so they hunt animals to eat.
L: Are they nice?
M: Lots of hunters are nice, but some probably aren't very nice and just like to hurt animals.
L: Like the guy on "The Rescuers Down Under"? He had cages.
M: Yep, just like him. He wasn't very nice to animals.
L: Why do people need to feed their families?
M: Well we all need food to eat right? Sometimes people can't just go to the grocery store or the ranch to get their meat, so they need to go out and get the animals themselves.
L: People eat animals!?
M: Yep. Heavenly Father put animals here so we could eat them, but we should be kind to them and not eat them all the time.
L: But animals don't like to be chewed!
M: (between gasps of laughter) Well sometimes that's just how life is. Remember how the lions eat gazelle? They need to eat the gazelle to live right? Well, sometimes we need to eat animals to live too, but we should be kind to them. That's why we get some of our meat from the ranch instead of the grocery store.
L: Like what kind of animals do we eat?
M: Like cows or chickens or turkeys...
L: Do we eat peacocks?
L: Cats and Dogs?
L: Oh. Giraffes have long necks so we can't fit them in our mouths?
M: Well, we don't eat giraffes, but cows are pretty big too. We just eat parts of the animals.
L: Like...their leg is a small part?
M: Yep, their legs are small parts.
L: Is Daddy a hunter?
M: Not now, but if we ever couldn't go to the store to get our food, we would have to hunt to feed our family.
L: Does he have lots of guns!?!?
M: No. We don't have any guns.
L: What are guns for?
At this point Scott and I desperately tried to change the topic...that was not a conversation I intended to have with my three year old, but he doesn't seem too traumatized yet!