Originally Posted by Roada Red
Well they can live with the thought then that they killed my animals and then I will starve to death and they can eat me but I would never kill my animals to survive I would rather die a slow painful death than put my animals through that
You sound like my son. He insists he would feed our dogs before taking a bite of food himself, just to keep them alive. (He's 16.) A few years back he even struggled with having to flush one of his fish when it developed tumors. It was still alive and he wholeheartedly believed it was his responsibility to continue caring for it even though my husband and I insisted that the fish was probably suffering. You have a big heart like he has. That's a good thing. It's taken a while for my son to recognize and accept my decision to raise chickens not (only) at pets, but as a source of food. He was fine with collecting and eating the eggs, but when I told him I'd be butchering chickens he found the idea so revolting that I wasn't even sure he would eat the dinner I'd prepared. Now he merely 'advises' me as to which ones I'm 'allowed' to kill, and which ones I must leave alone. He's completely okay with me butchering any rooster that proves mean, and especially any that attack him, but if he had his way I'd still be completely overwhelmed with roosters right now...or more overwhelmed than I am.
I truly wish you the luxury of never being forced to make any of the hard decisions we've discussed here because I know from experience that when you've felt any affection for an animal, and then have to butcher it, it IS hard...maybe not for everyone, but certainly for me. I know plenty of people who keep chickens only as pets. There's nothing wrong with that, especially since this land is still plentiful enough to allow it. Some of us just have a more practical, utilitarian perspective on the matter and have learned to never say never.