Trip Start May 22, 2009
197Trip End Feb 16, 2010
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I'm sure that over the last several years of having helpers at their farms, Jennie and Kevin have not had many requests to be a part of this process, but we did. Not that either of us think it's a pleasant activity, but one that is necessary if we're to eat meat. So yesterday, 2 chickens and 3 ducks went into separate pens so that their systems would be clean for today. No grand last supper for these little guys.
Of course the killing wasn't pleasant, but at least it was quick. One swift swipe and it was done. Jennie held the bird down afterwards which was nice as it eliminated the whole running-around-like-a-chicken-with-their-head-cut-off scenario (which really does happen for those of you who may not know - caused by nerve action from the blow).
Now I'm sure some people are thinking that this is cruelty. But any meat that is eaten came from an animal that was once alive and was killed. Period. There's no other way around it. The only thing is, most people these days are separated from their food (except for the last stage- cooking) and don't have to see it happen or do it themselves. Neither one of us like the idea of killing animals, we like them alot. Which is another reason why we want to farm this way. At least then we know that the animal was well-cared for an enjoyed the best life possible, and you can make their death as humane as possible. Unlike what you may purchase in the grocery store.
Hung to drain, the birds were ready to be plucked. This was quite the tedious task, and almost the hardest. These beautiful creatures were no longer beautiful, they were food. Off with a couple extra appendages and empty the inside and it's all done. You have a chicken carcus ready for the oven. Just 1/2 hr ago you had an animal that was running around and now it's ready to be eaten. Something just didn't click for me. I found myself touching this meat that looks exactly like any I've ever bough in the store and consumed before. I tried to link it to the live animals still running about the yard, and it was difficult to connect the two. Of course, everyone knows that meat comes from animals, but it still seemed strange for me.
Even with this experience under my belt I am still game for going ahead with our own hobby farm and including animals on it. As I've said before (I think twice in this little blurb - sorry for being so defensive, but we always have to defend ourselves about this), we don't like to kill animals, but until the day that we decide to stop eating meat this is the way that things are done. I would rather raise my own quality animals that are loved and taken care of and have the best life possible until their end rather than line the pockets of big businesses genetically modifying and pumping drugs and steriods into animals and the food that I eat.
*you will notice that there are no photos in this entry. Not because I didn't think you would enjoy them, but because I didn't take any. I respect the animals and the process too much to defile it in that way.