Monday, May 14, 2012
on eating meat (and being a mother hen)
I swear these chickies have already grown so much! At just 5 days old, they're sporting beautiful wing feathers and individual personalities. They are (all 26 of them!) doing wonderfully well so far. I'm quite enjoying being their foster mama hen, making sure they are warm enough, have fresh food and water always, and cleaning a couple little pasty bums now and then.
Many people have expressed reservations and concerns about raising their own animals for food, especially citing the fear of becoming too attached; Most especially where children are concerned. I have to admit having these same fears, even at this early stage. Yet, for me personally, I see my choices as either only eating meat I know for a fact was humanely and respectfully raised, or not eating meat at all. So, choosing to eat meat therefore means it must be as local as possible, so I can see and be satisfied for myself that the animals are treated properly. This might be a case of my inner control freak coming out, and although that tendency can oftentimes be a burden, I see it as an asset in this case! Aside from beef, sourcing local meat that meets my standards has proven difficult. And so here we are raising our own birds for food.
And also, here I am, working on fully embracing this process - surrendering myself to the emotions, learning, and self-reflection that is inevitable when one chooses to deal so directly with life and death. And the heaviness of losing an animal as compared to choosing to take an animal's life is something I'm certainly still parsing for myself.
For this moment, though, I'm going to let myself be a mother hen. To let go of trying so hard not to get attached. For I know in two months time I will be letting go again, even more so. Why should I hold back nourishing the lives that will soon provide my family with so much nourishment? Instead, I will chose the path where I need be most brave, yet most vulnerable. Time will tell if that's the wise choice.