This post includes explicit descriptions of slaughter. Read gently or skip entirely.
Last week I mentioned the chicken I was caring for whose legs had stopped working. For five days I hand fed her and gave her new bedding and talked to her and pet her. But her legs didn’t start working again. So I decided to slaughter her and eat her. It is one thing to talk about pulling weeds in the garden, and loving the weeds within. It is another thing to carry a chicken to the edge of the yard, a chicken you have been hand feeding for five days, and kill her. But that is what I did. I tried to ring her neck and it didn’t work. So I cut her head off with a very sharp knife. I’m sorry if this is too much information for any of my readers—yet life is like this sometimes. Sometimes you have to kill a chicken and if one method doesn’t work you have to try another.
Since I was a teenager I’ve claimed that I wanted to have this experience. I’ve helped other people kill chickens, but never done the actual killing myself. Today when the time came to do this, I didn’t feel so enthusiastic, but I did feel willing. Having this kind of connection to the food we eat is, well, is beautiful. It seems the wrong adjective when I think about the moment of being splattered with blood, but it is beautiful because it is real. It is the truth. As I killed this chicken I felt my own death in her hands.
The chicken was delicious. I marinated it with herbs and spices and then barbequed it. I ate it with my cousin. It was one of the most memorable, delicious, sparkling meals of my life.