By Anne Kimball on September 28, 2012
If you follow along here, you'll have seen some pictures I posted on Wednesday.
And you probably made an involuntary noise that sounded something like
ohmygoshhowCUTE or fbrdywubitz
because, come on now...
With any luck, you're fully recovered by now from the anaphacuteness shock your system endured.
So it is time for a proper introduction.
The above dollops of cuteness are adorable, there's no denying it, but I'm afraid their days are numbered. These chicks are not destined to grow old and wise and fat while they lay eggs in between pecking at the ground and doing the chicken dance.
They are fated for the dinner table.
I'll wait for the gasps and cries of outrage to die down.
Are you done?
I know, I'm a monster. I must hate animals, right?
And all of you Judgy McJudgersons are vegetarians, I presume?
Well then I turn the judgement right back onto you with my jedi powers.
See, here's my twisted logic:
I care about animals.
And I had known for a long time about the deplorable conditions in the factory farms that are the source of all the meat we buy from the grocery store, but whenever I bought that sterile-looking meat all wrapped up in plastic and styrofoam, I hummed a little tune and thought unrelated thoughts and purchased away.
But then my dtr Rosie tied me up and forced me to watch this video so I would have to face what it was I was feeding into, if you'll excuse the pun.
(warning: if you watch this, know that it is extremely graphic and horrible and will likely make you puke and cry all at the same time)
And I was, of course, horrified.
Almost horrified enough to join Rosie in her pledge to be a vegetarian.
Couldn't quite do it (although I do now feed the family vegetarian meals once or twice a week) and I applaud her for her continued committment to taking a pass on the bacon.
And to buy meat that's raised organically and free range and all that good stuff is ridiculously expensive. Like id="mce_marker"0 a pound expensive, which is more than I'm willing to pay.
But hello, what's this? I have a farm. I've already proven I can successfully raise laying chickens, why not try my hand at raising meat birds? For maybe a little more than what I would pay in the grocery store, but far less than I would pay for organic free-range, I can humanely raise (and humanely kill) meat for my table that hasn't been pumped full of antibiotics.
Of course, I won't do the killing. I know myself a little too well to think I can do that. I'll send them out for "processing", at least for this first go-round.
Then I'll get back a dozen birds all cleaned and plucked and ready for the freezer. Ready to feed our family. With any luck, we'll be able to enjoy a few tasty chicken pot pies and chicken noodle casseroles and chicken quesadillas knowing we gave those dozen chicks a nice life on a farm for their seven short weeks of life, with clean bedding and fresh air, and plenty of space to move around.
And if I consider this a success? My friend Theresa and I will be expanding next summer, upping our order to 50 chicks split between us. Maybe more than that the following summer.
And who knows, maybe I could even bring myself to raise a pig or cow for pork and beef.
Why? Because we like to eat meat, and because we care about animals.
Now taking bets to see if I will be able to stay the course or if I will wimp out..
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