I am not a vegetarian, I grew up eating meat. There was a time when I tried to be a vegetarian. There were many excellent reason; the way animals are treated in mass farming, the damaging effects on the environment of this type farming and the less than healthy meat that is the end result. I knew all the reasons and I did try but I still could not do it. I blame bacon! The smell of bacon was the cause of my high moral vegetarian resolve to crumble. I now like to believe that I am a more conscious meat eater.
Like always money features so strongly in our choices and if I could only buy organic meat I would but it is sadly out of our reach. We do eat less meat and try to make sure what we do eat is a better quality but I am embarrassed to admit that at times when life gets busy the convenience of cheap easy packaged meat in the local supermarket does lead to me having selective amnesia about most mass farming practices.
This challenge to be more sustainable puts the focus back on meat and how it is produced. We really have no excuse to eat meat and not to think about how the animals are treated.
I found these rather cute cartoons and while not all of it applies to all farms I think the idea that mass farming is damaging to land, animals and people is true
All of this brings me to the heading of this blog post. We have chickens. I always thought that they would only be for eggs but if I am serious about being sustainable then we have to talk about eating the chickens too. The idea is not appealing, and Rachel has flat out refused to eat any chicken that we have. Of course it would be easier just to carry on buying free range ( not totally sure they have a great life either) chicken and ignore where they come from. I feel strongly though that part of this challenge has to move us out of our comfort zone and has to make us reexamine things. Beacuse part of what has gotten us all into this mess on the planet is that, for convenience sake, most of us choose not to think about the damage that we are doing. Out of sight out of mind.
I think I am truly a spoilt suburban person who has never had to deal with the nitty gritty of getting meat to my plate. It is only easy to turn your nose up at growing your own meat when your life has been easy enough and you have not worried about feeding yourself and your family. In more rural areas and on small farms chickens are chickens not pets and they serve a function which is eggs and meat.
We are going to have to come to terms with what our choice to eat meat means and if we are serious about trying to be as sustainable as we can. While I can’t have a cow for milk and cheese I can have chickens for meat. This will mean increasing our flock but I think we need to seriously consider it.
Funny when your decision to have a chicken for dinner involves killing one, then you are more likely to make sure that meat is eaten less often, it is not just as easy as throwing it in the trolley, you are aware of the life and death that is part of your meal.
I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences.
So could you eat a chicken you had raise?
Have you ever killed a chicken?