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Well, Now I Feel Like a Monster!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by The Monkey Mama, Oct 27, 2008.

  1. The Monkey Mama

    The Monkey Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 12, 2008
    Kennesaw, GA
    I have not slain the rooster yet.

    I've spent the whole afternoon psyching myself up for it. [You must understand, I have never intentionally killed anything other than a mosquito or a cockroach in my life - I even catch spiders in the house to release outside... LOL!].

    So I've been going over this philosophically in my head - why this is a good idea and why I'm committed to doing it.

    Basically chickens deserve better than what our culture gives them. Knowing what I know now about how factory farm chickens are treated, I just can't buy those any more. Ever. [and that doesn't even go into the health concerns about that meat and the unnatural way it is produced - which is also a factor for me in wanting to produce our own food].

    "Sir Annoys Alot" has had a good life, and for a rooster he's had a pretty long one [6 months]. He's been well treated, spoiled actually, and I plan to kill him quickly and painlessly by breaking his neck.

    This is how it should be, you know? I plan to produce all our chicken for our family from now on [we have a guy we buy grass fed beef from by the half cow, and those cows are pastured and well treated, so I'm happy with our beef source].

    So, I finally got my act together this afternoon and started gathering up all my tools to "do the deed".

    My kids started asking questions - I'd been telling them since this roo was hatched that if he was a boy he was going to be dinner. Since he's been crowing, even THEY have made comments about freezer camp. I even told them this morning that I was goign to kill him and my 5yo said "That's OK, we don't like him". But they got pretty upset when I said I was going to do it today - as in right about NOW.

    My 5yo daughter completely lost it - the others were upset but calm, she burst into frantic tears. She is my animal lover - you know the kid - if there is an animal anywhere around, she's loving it, playing with it, taking care of it. She's my faithful chicken helper - will help me feed them every single day, rain or shine, do anything she can to help. She's a hard little worker too.

    She starts bawling and crying: "You mean you are going to kill him TODAY? I didn't know you meant today!"

    And she followed me around crying and just heartbroken. "Mommy, is there a chicken heaven? Do chickens have souls like we do? Will he see other chickens after you kill him? What will happen to him?"

    Geez. Keep in mind I was barely maintaining my own determination that I was going to butcher him, and now she's breaking my heart.

    Ugh. The only alternative is for our family to become vegetarian, which I'm seriously considering [I was vegetarian for 7 years before I got pregnant and started eating meat again]. But my husband will not be pleased with that option...

    Anybody else have a situation like this? How did you talk to your kids about it?

    Kelly
     
  2. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    I think raising your own meat has 50/50 results. 50% gain heightened awareness. 50% become vegetarians.

    Eventually anemia catches up to the second 50% and probably by the time they're out of college they'll finally see the morality of raising ones own meat. They'll likely follow in your footsteps, but it will be their own discovery.
     
  3. the1much

    the1much Currently Birdless Hippy

    when i processed the kids first guinea,, they creid and cried ( ages 3 & 5 ) it was such a sad sight,, moms even took them shopping while i did it,, they came home,, first thing they wanted to see the guinea,, so i took him out of the fridge, showed them,,, nothing happened,, the next night we ate him,, they LOVED him, and started asking if they could pick out the next 1. ( both of them LOVE our birds, cry when i sell them) the next week we did a big red rooster,, they both wanted a leg, and by supper end, they wanted to eat another, even THEIR pet birds ( they have 1 each) and if you ask what their gonna do with their birds,,, they say " we're gonna eat em" hehe,, their mom was soooooo surprised.
     
  4. eggzettera

    eggzettera Chillin' With My Peeps

    How you handle it is most important, if you are OK she will come around. If your not & she senses it there could be a lot more drama then needed. Are you OK with it yet? [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. kinnip

    kinnip Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    I have a similar problem except with a forty year old man. I lose my fortitude every time he gives me that look. I'm now shopping for processors.
     
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I would treat it as if it was a normal thing to do. If you can feel yourself it is a normal part of raising them, I'm sure you can pass that feeling on to your kids and they won't be so sad/worried when the time comes. Try saying thanks to the bird for his life rather than sorry you have to go. Perhaps that could help a bit?
     
  7. Their Other Mother

    Their Other Mother Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 1, 2008
    Arizona
    Here is a little off topic post (sorry I couldn't resist):
    When I was in high school I used to raise a steer for my Ag project every year. The first year was the hardest, we got a 3 day old brown swiss dairy bull calf we named "Buck" for my project. (One of the other students parents owned a dairy so we could buy them for $10.00) Anyway, a year later and it's time to harvest, we called a local butcher who came and picked him up in a blue trailer, then we went and picked up little white packages of beef - lots of them. So I'ts time for the first big Roast Beef Feast, The entire extended family is there... We all sit down at the table, Dad says Grace and ends with ....."Father, we ask you to Bless everyone here" And then Uncle Dick (who was mentally challenged) adds "And God, Bless Buck!" My Grandmother groans, and all the women got up from the table to get a breath of fresh air while the men dig in and laugh at us.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. peeplessinNC

    peeplessinNC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 23, 2008
    NC Piedmont
    "Freezer camp" - that's a good one, had not heard that yet!

    I feel your pain. Your children will take their cues from you, so maybe you need to come to grips with your own feelings first?

    I remember a PBS program on chickens and how the father killed the chicken that was to be dinner that night, but out of sight of the children (I think). At the table, the blessing was said and thanks given to the chicken they were about to eat for giving up his life so that their bodies could be nourished. It was clearly understood from the very start that sometimes the chickens would be killed for the family to eat.
     
  9. rubyv67

    rubyv67 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 17, 2008
    Daggett,CA
    :aww I have a little animal lover too. When I mentioned chickens outliving their usefulness and needing to be butchered, she went ballistic. I now decided when I can get my chickens, ther will be seperate areas for meat birds and pets/layers. That way everyone knows from the start who's ending up dinner.Mind you we haven't got there yet. The best laid plans of mice and men you know. [​IMG]
     
  10. SandraMort

    SandraMort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2008
    ny
    My vegetarian from birth kids are pretty nonchalant about it. They know I've been having trouble being vegetarian and need to eat "yuckymeat". We've discussed how the meat animals in factory farms are raised and how these guys live a good life and die quickly. Theyre waaaay more ok with me processing than going to the supermarket. Which is how I feel, too.

    Of course, my 10 yo knows any boys her pullet hatches go to the freezer... and she's NOT ok with that. So I may have to give away or sell those birds rtather than eat them. Somebody else can, which is fine.
     

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