People seem really weird-ed out about meeting their food face to face. It reminds them what they eat everyday used to be alive and that gets them thinking. No one likes to think all that much. It’s just kind of uncomfortable. So most people would rather go on believing chicken comes from Kroger, in a nicely packaged Styrofoam container. Chicken doesn’t have a face or internal organs. It doesn’t have bones. It’s just a bag of breaded strips we hope our children will eat without complaining.

So it’s no surprise that, ” Is it hard to eat it after you, ya know…kill it and everything?” is the usual response I get when someone finds out we raise chickens for meat. Most people think it’s sad and mean to raise an animal and then eat it. I suppose they don’t consider the alternative because it requires a lot of ya know…thinking.

But let’s go there for a minute. Whether or not you eat chicken, eggs, dairy, whatever: Unless you grow your own food or get what you eat from someone you know, you are supporting companies that are destroying the earth, causing disease, erosion, and toxic runoff, exploiting “immigrant” workers, promoting the use of dangerous chemicals, genetically modifying the “fresh” vegetables you feed your children, using bovine growth hormones, irradiating meat, and practicing unclean and morally despicable livestock management.

I’m not judging anyone for shopping at Kroger or Publix or Whole Foods. I shop there too when I have to and sometimes just for convenience. The fact is, it’s nearly impossible not to rely on factory farming or industrialized food because there’s so much power and control hindering small farmers from marketing their products to consumers who are eager for change.

So to answer the earlier question, no it’s not hard to eat a hen I raised and killed because I know she enjoyed her life in fresh air and sunshine. She ate grass and bugs and had clean water to drink. She was allowed to be a chicken. The day she died, I picked her up and carried her to my back deck. I placed her head first into a cone and tied her feet with twine. I gently held her neck as my husband slit it open with a sharp knife. The blood flowed from her neck into a bucket on the deck. After a few minutes of bleeding, she drew her last breath and was gone.  I had to work for that hen. It took effort to keep her healthy without antibiotics. I was involved in the process of growing her for food. I pampered her and in exchange she became a source of health and nutrition for me.

What’s so weird about that? I think its one of the coolest things I’ve learned so far. And no I don’t name them. Do you name your tomatoes?