My breath became shallow as my hand gripped the chickens neck. Randy held down the body as her feathers wildly flapped. I tightened my grip, silencing her. Leaving her with no outlet for her fear she violently released her bowls with impressive distance. She was enormous. After months of free range feeding without any restraint she had reached a point far beyond gluttony. If chickens believe in hell there is no doubt which circle lie in her very near future…and I was going to send her there. Her breasts were bare from them dragging on the ground, tearing out all her feathers, leaving the skin raw and bloody. There was a spasm in her gullet so strong it felt like a boney, arrhythmic heartbeat and it made me wince. Randy slid the knife he sharpened only seconds ago to and fro beginning to sever her neck and suddenly a vicious sense of urgency overwhelmed me as a feverish heat wave spread all over my body…I wanted to kill her. I pulled hard for a few seconds and suddenly the resistance was gone causing my arm to fly back behind me. Startled, I felt my heart beat drop and go into reverse causing me to release the head and run, falling face first in the dirt as a result of the panic. As the headless bird continued to spastically flap its wings still holding on to her last thought of escape…laughter ensued. I know this makes me appear heartless and cruel and even sick… laughing at an ending life…a life that I took. But it was all I could do to keep from slipping into a dimly lit, dank dungeon of guilt. We strung her up and Randy gave me my first lesson in butchery. She gave us three meals and all were delicious.
I have been fascinated and enchanted by the recent revolution of ‘Farm to Table’. The fact that people are caring about what they put into their bodies again warms me. Just as religious connection is a comfort for some, my connection to this Earth is what feeds my energy for inspiration, generosity, and overall balance. It restores my peace when I need it to and what better way to do that than by eating her beautifully unprocessed resources.
Having said that, I realized I do say that often, but other than shopping at local farmers markets and farms, what have I done to be a part of the process? If the government collapses tomorrow and we go back to a more remedial lifestyle of hunting and farming…would I survive? I realized I couldn’t go on talking, reading, and eating what others put their heart into. Killing this chicken made me see that the connection between our food and our selves runs deeper than understanding phrases like “free-range”, “organic” and “vegetarian fed”. It’s about caring, loving, and raising our animals and produce. It’s giving them a good life while they are under our care because we owe them that debt for the nourishment they will be giving us. Progressive health will come from eating food that we cared for…a life that was positive and meaningful will yield better product, plain and simple. So please support your local farmers, when you are hungry look to the dirt, and go kill some chickens.