IMG_7212Roosters, before they became aggressive

 

We agree with Michael Pollan,who wrote, in Omnivore’s Dilemma:

Eating puts us in touch with all that we share with the other animals, and all that sets us apart. It defines us.

What is perhaps most troubling, and sad, about industrial eating is how thoroughly it obscures all these relationships and connections. To go from chicken to the Chicken McNugget is to leave this world in a journey of forgetting that could hardly be more costly, not only in terms of the animal’s pain but in our pleasure, too. But forgetting, or not knowing in the first place, is what the industrial food chain is all about, the principal reason it is so opaque, for if we could see what lies on the far side of the increasingly high walls of our industrial agriculture, we would surely change the way we eat.

‘Eating is an agricultural act,’ as Wendell Berry famously said. It is also an ecological act, and a political act, too. Though much has been done to obscure this simple fact, how and what we eat determines to a great extent the use we make of the world—and what is to become of it. To eat with a fuller consciousness of all that is at stake might sound like a burden, but in practice few things in life can afford quite as much satisfaction.

We were raised on this farm
and know much of what goes in to making food.
But even growing up on a farm,
we were shielded from killing
of livestock.
We never saw a chicken
or a ewe
or a turkey
or a steer killed.
All the livestock was sent away
for sale,
or slaughter.

While we are able to harvest plants,
we get attached to the animals we raise
and have been squeamish
about slaughtering them.
Since we read Pollan’s book
we have been preparing ourselves
for the day
when we could slaughter our food.
Hatching and raising five roosters
from a batch of chicken eggs
has brought us to the brink.
The roosters are menacing.
We have one other rooster
that isn’t so aggressive
and can fertilize the hen eggs.
We will keep him.
But on Saturday afternoon,
we will learn how to slaughter and dress
the other roosters.
Friends
from Transition Town OKC
have formed resilience teams
to teach people
how to do some of the things
we in our current culture
don’t know how to do;
skills that could help us
live more sustainably,
be more resilient.
Killing and dressing chickens
is one of those skills.
So on Saturday,
Vicki and Don Rose
and Doug Hill
are coming to our farm
to teach us.
If you want to learn alongside,
give us a call.
It’s easier in community.