Warning, photographs are graphic
List of things to do while in Mexico:
Surf. Fish. Camp on the beach. Plan future business. Kill a chicken.
After a week here:
Check. Check. Check. Check. Ok, stop dilly-dallying
It only seems natural that if I respect animals the way I say I do, then I should be able to take one’s life with my own hands. I wanted to really connect with life, death and the process in which an animal goes from being a living, breathing, beautiful, creature, to a piece of meat on my plate. I wanted to have 100% control, awareness and involvement in the process of an animal’s death for my consumption.
Little did I know, I am not cut out for stabbing into a living creature and slicing a knife through it’s neck. I chickened out mid-slice.
Since we all may not have the access and resources to a chicken to slaughter, let’s dedicate today’s post to practicing mindfulness and to making conscious decisions. You can start by becoming aware of where your food is coming from. For Pete’s sake, at least be mindful of what animal is in your meatballs on Mondays.
Logan (my farmer friend) who has killed “thousands of animals” as humanely as one can, talked me through the process and steps in preparation. With a knife in one hand a strong drink in my other, I paced the patio for a few minutes trying to mentally prepare myself for what I was about to do.
Ok, now is the time. Logan held the chicken’s wings tightly against its body, I looked the chicken in his eyes and let him know it would all be ok and no part of him will be wasted.
I found his vein with my left hand and held the knife in my right. My hands were shaking uncontrollably and my heart was racing a mile a minute. I took a deep breath and stabbed him in the neck. The chicken let out a scream. I couldn’t finish it. I couldn’t rip the knife through his vein and out the other side. I put down the knife and said, “I can’t.” At this point Logan was upset because all I’ve really done is stab a chicken and left it to suffer. I turn away and say “You do it, I can’t.” When I look back the chicken is hanging upside down with his head dangling by a small piece of flesh as he bleeds out onto the patio.
By this time tears are pouring down my face uncontrollably. I don’t know why I started crying. Maybe because I made an animal suffer or because I was disappointed in myself for not being able to follow through with something. Or maybe because I’ve never been in the presence of an animal being slaughtered. Or was it because I was 100% responsible for taking the life of a creature?
Whatever the reason, I still cannot explain the feelings and emotions moving through my body and mind. Definitely made up for having not cried in the past 3 years!
How it all started and step by step:
Logan came home from the farm around noon and at about 12:30 said, “oh I got us a chicken” and went out to his truck. He walks in carrying a cardboard box with white feathers poking through the holes. Not the grocery bag I was expecting. I asked “Is that for me to kill?” while halfway laughing because he had forgotten about a living creature in the bed of his truck on a hot summer day 🙂
I said, “Ok, tell me a little bit about the chicken”
Logan, “He lived on the our farm. Some of the farm workers had him living in their yard. He ate all the bell peppers, cucumbers and other organic produce I grow. He is about 4-5 lbs and 5-6 weeks old. They asked for 5 bucks but I gave them 10.”
And there you have it…
This expression represents thoughts and feelings I’ve never experienced before
“I don’t think I can do this. Yes I can. Shit. Can he feel my energy? Am I making the chicken scared? What if I hurt him. I don’t want to kill an animal. Yes I do. This is ancient human behavior, I can do this. Shit no I can’t. My hand is shaking .I think I’m going to vomit. Ok. Pull it together and do it.
Pouring boiling water on the chicken helps with removing the feathers
Cleaning him up before putting him in the ice bucket
We drive down the road (2 minutes from Logan’s house) onto the beach to take a swim. Feeling the need to cleanse in the ocean. No one else for miles.
Salty Sandy Cleansed
6 years ago I became a vegan after watching the documentary “Meet Your Meat”. My decision was based on animal rights reasons… I could not justify eating something knowing that an animal had suffered so I could satisfy my taste buds. I believe all animals feel pain to the same degree, therefore, animals raised for consumption should be treated with the same amount of respect as domestic animals. Right? I mean it’s only our Westerns culture that tells us it’s okay to eat cows but for some reason inhumane to eat dogs.
I moved to Thailand 5 years ago and started eating seafood and eggs. Then from there moved to Paris and started eating dairy products. My philosophy has changed over the years to “As long as the animal was raised/slaughtered humanely and sustainable/environmental practices were used I support the consumption.”