My good friend, Marguerite Butler commented about my Mad Skillz post on Facebook, saying meat eaters should know how to butcher and cook a chicken. Fewer people would waste food if they knew how much effort goes into something so simple as a chicken.
That statement prompted today's post.
I don't like killing anything. Anything. Even killing a scorpion fills me with remorse. I do it because those sons-of-a-gun hurt like crazy. I don't want them stinging my dogs, let alone the husband.
Part of homestead living requires killing at some point. It's something I don't discuss much on this blog because I imagine many people can't handle the truth.
It's incredibly hard to separate emotions from what needs to be done to feed your family. In the US (and I'm sure in every other modern nation) we are so far removed from the actual killing and processing of meat, fish, and poultry that we're conditioned to believe that the hamburger we're eating started its life in a piece of plastic wrap.
What Marguerite said struck a nerve. If we knew firsthand what was involved, we'd be less likely to waste food.
It's a rare thing for food to go to waste at my house--especially if it's food we grew/raised.
When it's time to kill an animal I always say a prayer, thanking it for its sacrifice and wishing it a safe journey. It might sound stupid to you but it means a lot to me. The animal had no choice. It was an animal born to feed my family. The difference is we give it the best possible life while it's alive and kill it swiftly and cleanly.
If you've ever seen some of those secret videos of commercial slaughterhouses, you'll know why we go through so much trouble.
Now I know some people are incapable of ever killing an animal to feed himself. Many generations have passed since we last had to raise, kill, and cook food from the hoof.
This isn't a blaming post. It's no one's fault if the average person can't bring himself to kill his food. The logistics alone defies even trying. So many people live in apartments, homes with zero yards, or zoning that prevents any farm activity at all.
Still, I wish schools would offer the option of teaching kids how our ancestors lived, if only for a day. I'm sure it would offend far too many people, alleging animal cruelty, all the while forgetting how the lunch they just had really got on their plate.
My earliest memory of home butchering was watching my grandmother slice a young goat's throat. My mother was horrified that her child had witnessed such a thing and hurried me away, but even at that young age, I was fascinated. For the first time I made the connection between animals and the food I ate.
Do you feel we're too far removed from our food source? Would you ever
send your kid (or yourself) to a farm to see how animals are raised and
butchered? Are there other solutions to commercial slaughterhouses?
You can see Marguerite's reply to this post here.