In January I posted about our need to butcher a mean rooster and my inability to then eat it afterwards because of emotional barriers I didn't know how to get around. I had almost convinced myself that going back to vegetarianism was probably the better way. But to me* it wasn't taking responsibility for my food source, it was hiding from reality.
I won't lie to you and say that slaughtering animals is an easy thing.
It shouldn't be.
But that initial experience has opened me up to the ability to butcher our own birds with -well, I wouldn't say detachment because that's the whole reason we're doing it ourselves- perhaps more understanding.
They are prey.
I am a predator.
I'm just smarter than other predators and take care of my prey. But they still have value beyond my dinnerplate. They are still Life in one of it's majestic forms. Even as I choose which bird's life will end, I still mourn for it and thank it for its sacrifice.
The dog that killed my bird for sport more than food has helped opened my eyes. If I don't eat it, something else will. It's what I choose to eat and how I care for it before hand that tips the scales, in my opinion, to what is responsible and what is not.
Yesterday we butchered two of our Red Broiler roosters. I was able to assist on the entire thing from start to finish, even capturing the live birds myself, and I did not waver. Other than the initial kill, the children were able to be present and asked questions. We thanked the birds aloud together for the food they provide us. I showed them the insides and labeled the parts for them as we took them out. Leeloo happily ate the heart and liver of one of the birds. We tried to make as much of the bird as we could with little waste and what we couldn't eat, we composted or left deep in the woods for the scavengers. Even the blood will be mixed with water to feed the fig trees.
I'll have another post about the actual process, my experience with the different breeds, slaughtered weights and stuff in the next few days. I just wanted an initial post about how I feel about the process now since it's such a dramatic change from where I was at a few months ago.
*I stress that this is a personal choice. I do not look down on those that cannot or will not eat meat because of the fact of slaughter, that one life has to end to satisfy another, that is a different kind of sacrifice, but these are my feelings about the issue. I have been a vegetarian in the past, I don't feel for myself that is the right choice at this time.