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I am such a softie... Should I turn vegetarian?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by comp6512, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. comp6512

    comp6512 Songster

    Dec 3, 2008
    I know, this subject has been beat to death. But... Need words of encouragement, or - discouragement, and - advice from first-time experience, please.

    Before I ordered the chicks I thought, well, I'll keep the hens and butcher the roos, then, hatch more chicks, etc. etc. Real sustainability.

    Well, the chicks are 3.5 months old now and a couple of roos need to go. Even though I will not personally do the deed, DH signed up for the job, I just know, I will be crying over the dead body of the rooster and probably will not even be able to eat it.

    How does one overcome that stumbling block? Literally, I am agonizing about that D-day even though it's not here yet. I love my chickens! I pet them, they sing to me, they crowd me, you know how they are. I don't name them, but still, they are so cool!

    The whole idea was to get chickens and ducks and stop buying chemicalized food from the store. But it is so hard to start killing these little curious creatures. [​IMG]:hit

  2. ultasol

    ultasol Songster

    Apr 30, 2009
    SE Washington
    I look at it this way- regardless of where you get your meat the fact that something dies remains the same. The respect, dignity, and quality of care afforded that animal varies widely. By raising my own meat I am respecting the animal, and providing it with a happy life.

    If you have too many roos or too many birds the result is unhappy birds. By giving some a happy, but shorter, life with a quick peaceful end you are ensuring the continued health and happiness of the flock. In nature this occurs through predation, natural selection, illness, and age. The deaths you will afford your animals will be far faster and more humane than the alternatives offered in nature.

    Death is part of life- no life exists without it. Have your DH look at some information on quick slaughtering techniques to minimize discomfort, and process without guilt.

    I do some volunteer work with a spay/neuter clinic. A portion of the animals done are feral cats that are fixed, given shots, eartipped, and released. I have mixed feelings about this since my neighbor feeds a large colony and several times a year I find cat carcasses partially chewed by coyotes, cats weak and dying from illness, and cats that are too old, weak or disabled to make it as a 'feral' cat any longer. Regardless, I feel that often the humane option would be humane euthanasia since death in some form is inevitable, and none of the 'ends' are pretty for feral animals.

    The same way I feel about my geese, chickens, etc. My meat birds have a fantastic life with ample food, water, pasture, clean bedding, sunshine and care. When they go, I can feel at peace knowing they were happy in life, and had a quick and peaceful end.
  3. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Songster

    Apr 29, 2007
    I did a couple thousand or so this year alone and I'm still thankful for each life I take. I feed a lot of families and understand the importance of it. It's when you become desensitized to the fact that your taking a life, is when you end up like any other commercial producer.

    I think everyone should have to raise and process their own meat in school. Just for people to see it, as I believe you get a whole new respect for animals. If you can take a life from an animal, you can do anything. Once you have that respect for the animal you make sure to give it a life far greater than it would anywhere else. I for one have a very hard time taking meat to get it processed somewhere else. I'd rather kill the animal and watch it die, as it reminds me how important that animals life is up to that point. If I can give an animal a lifetime of greatness I should be able to handle taking it away... if not you don't have that same connection.

    It's hard to handle, but if your like most people and do not have a black heart... you will do one of three things... you will in fact become a vegetarian, you many not eat that chicken as you've seen it die, or you come out with a whole new appreciation on where your food comes from.

    Either way, your going to have a new respect for animals, especially those destined for the dinner table, which I feel is most important. Those animals that we eat do not owe us anything... if anything at all we owe them a lifetime of gratitude and respect for what we take each day from them.

    Put your hard hat on, and if anything, at least help DH with the preparation with all of the materials and tools that will be needed. You've raised them and had plenty of connection with them, do yourself a favor and enjoy your labor!
  4. becky3086

    becky3086 Crested Crazy

    Oct 14, 2008
    Thomson, GA
    Stop petting them! Geez, no wonder you don't want to do it. Look at one of them and think, "That one will make a nice chicken soup; this one will go in a casserole". I'm serious, you have to think of them as food NOT pets. It will help at least but it is never nice to kill them, ever.
  5. CoopCrazy

    CoopCrazy Brooder Boss

    Mar 3, 2009
    And make sure to pay your respects to the animal for the sacrifice it is making for you and your family .. Say a prayer, light a candle.. Do something in its honor.. I personaly will do a prayer and smoke offering when I process in the spring and will be kind, gentle and quick when taking their lives.. Its tough now but I KNOW you can do this and you will have a greater respect for life...
  6. CoopCrazy

    CoopCrazy Brooder Boss

    Mar 3, 2009
    Quote:I disagree.. I want my animals to know kindness and love before they feed our family.. My reasoning behind raising my own meat is to know it had the best possible life it could have.. My children even play with the animals while we raise them and they know they are going on the table..
  7. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I try to think about my meat birds the way I do the produce I grow in my garden. I tend their needs carefully right from their tender beginnings, provide protection, comfort & nourishment, admire their natural beauty, take pride in their vigorous growth, and as they ripen & near harvest I anticipate the delicious nourishment they will provide my family & myself. And the fact is that there aren't as many roosters as hens needed in a flock, 90% of them have their purpose on a plate. You can enjoy them now while they're fuzzy & cute and find satisfaction in the fact they're being given a good healthy life, something many many roosters never get to enjoy.

    It is a departure from our usual experience to be part of the dispatching & processing of our meat animals. But most of us here have learned ways to come to terms with it. Good for DH for volunteering to do the processing, see what you can do to help even if it's just to bring ice for the cooler. Really, after the head, feet & feathers come off it looks just like the chickens you buy at the grocery store. It just tastes BETTER. And brings more personal satisfaction.

  8. Ibicella

    Ibicella Songster

    Nov 13, 2009
    Everett, WA
    Personally, I've watched a lot of death. I've watched my pets get old, arthritic, sick, and eventually suffer till I took their lives. I watched my mother waste away and die a slow, agonizing, and undignified death from cancer.

    There just really isn't a pleasent way to die. But compared to what I've seen, our chickens don't get that bad of one. We can kill with love and compassion and a warm heart. Its not easy, but its not wrong. Its not a crime to be hungry.
  9. Bossroo

    Bossroo Songster

    Jun 15, 2008
    You know... the vegetarians take a life when they cut or pull a vegatable from the ground and is still alive when eaten raw. Many plants have the ability to stay alive and continue to grow for a long time after harvest. Think transplanting, grafting, leaf propagation, cellular cloning, seeds. They just don't communicate or we just don't recognize this since they don't have the ability to move or vocalise or have an organised brain. At least when one kills a chicken, one knows that it is dead before it is eaten.
  10. fancbrd4me02

    fancbrd4me02 Songster

    As a Vegetarian, I would tell you that it is your own choice and it depends on many factors besides the issue of killing. For me, I know that a vegetarian lifestlye will reduce the likelihood a lot of potential health problems that run in my family. Notice I said reduce, not eliminate. Also I do not need to eat any of my chickens so I don't kill them, plain & simple. Although it is true that vegetables are alive, it has yet to be demonstrated that they have the "feelings" and complex brain that higher order animals have. There is a difference between eating a carrot and someone who is walking around raising babies, who can recognize diferent people,etc. I have kept chickens and many other animals for a long time, and I treat my animals with respect and consideration. I did so when I was not a vegetarian. Also, many people make the mistake of believing that vegetarians believe that killing an animal is wrong. Those people can't be more mistaken. I have no problem with people eating animals, I just will not participate in the machine that is factory farming by handing them my hard earned money. Meat production as it is currently practiced by corporations in the US consume huge amounts of produce (grains) and is very hard on the animals & the land. Occassionaly meat is purchased in my household, but only to carefully small run operations, the truth is we don't miss meat. My chickens give us all the protien we need with thier eggs, plus we still eat some dairy. I have hens that still lay pretty regularly after 4, 5, and even 7 years. I suggest that you research the Vegetarian diet, and if you decide to do it, give it a test run. Also, some people have mentioned hunger & weakness from the vegetarian diet. I think that may be due to the underlying condition of the individual or was someone who was not following a nutritionally sound vegetarian diet plan. Nowadays there is all kinds of great vegetarian meal options out there. I have tricked a lot of family members with vegetarian sausage. They couldn't tell the differrence. (Veg bacon is a joke, though.)

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