Let's see now … I had a small number of egg-laying chickens (50-75) in the highlands of Puerto Rico until I was around 9 years of age. And I killed and cleaned my first chicken when I was 6 or so. I even helped cook it, though I honestly didn't enjoy eating that first one so much. :)
I learned to treat animals gently and to understand the inevitability of injuries, aging and death. After a hurricane injured several of them, I learned to nurse many back to health with round the clock care.
And when times were tough and we had to kill one or two of them, I learned that though their death was necessary for our survival it was no excuse to make them suffer.
To this day, when I tell that story to my city-raised nieces and nephews and their friends they come back with the oddest and most illogical comments I've ever heard. It's like they all spew the same lines over and over from some common source.
Yeah, kids definitely need to be exposed to reality more, and they need to do so early in life*. But parents today seem to think none of that is appropriate for a child. No wonder there is so much prolonged adolescence and an unrealistic sense of entitlement among the urban young.
* Field trips to the country (to truly see the the handling of livestock, produce and food preparation establishments) might help them develop an appreciation for what it really takes to feed their evergrowing bodies.