Advisory: Some of these photos may be considered graphic by some viewers.
Yes, this is really funny--and it is really sad!
It also goes right along with what I was musing on this morning as we murdered our meat. (I don't really consider it murder, but I couldn't resist the alliteration.)
Yesterday after we butchered the first ten chickens, Kara and I went to Chef Mart to get some more supplies. I mentioned to the owner that we were butchering chickens, and a woman customer said, "Oh, I could never kill an animal that I had seen in person. When I eat fresh lobster in a restaurant, I just tell them to pick one out for me. I don't want to see it before I eat it." She said that she prefers to buy her chicken in the grocery store, so I told her in a few words why we do what we do: natural, humanely raised and slaughtered, antibiotic- and hormone-free instead of chickens crowded 20,000 to a barn, never seeing the light of day. She was completely unmoved and uninterested.
As we conversed, she went on to say that she and her husband used to buy a side of beef and have it cut up to order, but the place they used had closed down, and she didn't know where else to go. I suggested a place I know of and mentioned that they have locally-raised grass-fed beef. "Oh," she said, "I like mine corn-fed at the end. It tastes better."
While Herb plucked and I eviscerated, I recounted this experience to him. Together we marveled that here is a woman who wants to eat meat--she just never wants to see the animal it came from. She doesn't care if the animal is raised in inhumane conditions or if it is raised in a way that makes its meat less healthy. She wants cheap, good-tasting meat with no inconvenience or unpleasantness to herself.
When I took this photo, I left off the bottom of the cone with the blood dripping down. But remember how you laughed at the newspaper article above, finding it ridiculous! If there is meat on your plate, an animal died, and blood was shed.
I'm not asking you to help shed that blood. I'm not asking you to look at photos of it. I'm not asking you to come help feed our chickens and pigs. And I'm certainly not asking you to raise any of your own. Most people will never have that opportunity.
Acknowledge the planning and the work involved for that meat to end up in your fridge, sanitarily packaged. And, unless you buy your meat directly from small farmers like us, acknowledge that the people who did all the "dirty work" to prepare your meat are poorly-paid
low income workers who stand for hours in freezing processing plants, gutting chicken after chicken after chicken. These are people who do this job because they can't get any other. NO ONE says at age five, "When I grow up I wanna be a chicken processor!"
I used to buy my chicken in little styrofoam trays, wrapped in plastic wrap, boneless and skinless--about as far from anything resembling a feathered, clucking bird as it could be. Ditto for my beef, pork, lamb or fish.
I still don't think I could butcher and eat one of my laying hens. They have names! I know what color egg most of them lay. I know their personalities. That is a privilege and a blessing for which I am thankful.
But far greater is the privilege of having rushed to the Post Office in the dark to bring home a box of peeping baby chicks, teaching them to drink one by one, carrying water twice a day, checking their feed every few hours, cleaning out their smelly litter, moving them in heavy crate-loads into the chicken tractor, dragging the heavy chicken tractor to a new place on the few occasions Herb wasn't around to do it, enjoying their eagerness as they moved to fresh grass, faithfully feeding and watering twice every single day without fail for 12 weeks, until finally, it was time to make sure they were comfortable for their last night and that they died quickly and were processed sanitarily so that their life and death were not in vain, but able to nourish our bodies.
Maybe it's a bit much to give credit for this to a flock of clucking chickens and squeakily-crowing roosters, but these chickens have nourished my soul, as well. I have had the responsibility for their lives in a God-given Kingdom task. They have brought me to reflect on all these things--and it is good.