Heads on a Plate in Kindergarten

My son’s preschool (in China, they still call it “kindergarten,” or 幼儿园) has a little case on display near the entrance to the school which shows what foods are on the menu for that day. The school uses small pieces of actual food for the display. It’s a great way to familiarize the little ones with various types of meat and vegetables, and I use it as a sort of English vocabulary review with my son, since he’s already learning the food vocabulary all in Chinese.

Well, despite having been in China for so long, I was a little shocked to see this last week:

Pigeon head on a plate at pre-school

…then this week, I saw this:

Duck head on a plate at pre-school

Some Chinese friends were a little surprised too, but at least no meat was wasted (unlike for the pork). I have to agree: it’s better that kids know from a young age where their meat comes from, rather than thinking meat just comes from a supermarket, and then being traumatized at the age of 10 to discover people are killing cute little animals just so they can eat them.

Still, I hope we don’t see a big pig head on a pike next week…


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. Another questionable practice brought up by the photo is portraying apex predators like tigers as cute and cuddly. I can barely count the times I’ve heard or read of people doing really reckless things around bears due to the teddy bear portrayal.

    It’s important to realize that we might love nature, but nature doesn’t give a f*&# about us!

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