Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Today I Killed Chickens
To be honest, when that first chicken went in the killing rack (don't know the real name, but you can guess the use) I felt a little queasy. I felt the same as we dunked them in scalding water, cut off their feet, dunked them again, then de-feathered them, then twisted off their heads, then gutted them, then cleaned them...
But by the time I got to the last step - putting them on ice - I was amazed. "This is how it works," said I. "Yep," the pros responded.
It was awesome. I loved each step, which I did for a while. Yes, its psychologically difficult to twist a head off the first time, but then it kinda gets enjoyable. Not because actually twisting a spine until it breaks and dropping a head into a bucket of other heads all looking at you for remorse (they received little) is enjoyable, but because I was learning how to be more human. Humans eat animals, yet humans in our country are so far removed from their food that young kids may come to think that chicken comes from packages and any steps before that moment are shrouded in agribusiness screens and regulations.
You have watched Food, Inc. right? It gives you a glimpse of what I'm talking about. There's a moment in the movie where the famous food/farmer rights hero Joel Salitin is processing chickens out in the open. Today was like that. Yep, just like the movies. More blood though.
I'm not saying that everyone needs to twist the head off a chicken to be human, but you need to know how your food gets to your plate. I can only say I feel a little bit more free today. Today I grabbed an animal by the feet and now I can eat it. Fluctuating markets be damned, I'm gonna eat tonight. ... I might wait a while before I eat chicken again, but I can if I need to. Today I ordered 50 meat chickens that I'll process in the spring. No matter what happens in Greece or Washington, I have food and I know where it came from and how it got to my plate. There's something there right? Feeding the animals that feed you?