Sunday, April 29, 2012
Thursday, April 26, 2012
|Tina's dog, Brandi, says hi to the two-day-old babies.|
Monday, April 23, 2012
The answer is always the same: I do love animals. In fact, I prefer them to people most of the time.
Although it seems counterintuitive, my love for animals is the driving force behind my desire to raise and kill my own meat birds. As I mentioned in my first post, I stopped eating meat for a number of years once I learned how the cows, pigs and chickens I was eating were raised. The abuses that factory farmed animals suffer are too numerous and horrific to detail here and in any case, the information is readily available for those who care to look. If you’re interested, check out the Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals.
I have no moral objections to eating animals but it just doesn’t seem right to me that we can spend so much time and money saving dogs and cats and horses and other “cute” animals and then turn a blind eye when it comes to the suffering of the creatures we choose to eat. Out of sight, out of mind, I suppose. “Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It’s So Hard to Think Straight About Animals” by Hal Herzog is a great book that looks at this very issue: the ethics surrounding the relationship between humans and animals.
The actual process of killing the birds is one that Tina and I have discussed at length. I don't know if I'm capable of slaughtering them myself, at least not at this stage. Maybe after we raise a few batches it will be easier but right now I'm really struggling with the thought of being the one to do the deed. We have a few weeks before we have to make the decision once and for all, so more on this topic later.
In the meantime, here's one of the chicks camped out near the food:
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Monday, April 16, 2012
I know, I know, it’s a really cheesy title but I just couldn’t resist.
Back in 2005 a friend’s mother brought home a DVD about how animals are raised for human consumption and pestered me until I agreed to watch it. I thought I had a pretty solid understanding of what goes on in your typical feedlot or laying hen operation but boy, was I ever wrong.
I didn’t eat meat again for five years.
Fast forward to 2012 and here I am planning to raise chickens for meat. Sounds kind of crazy but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. Although I started eating meat again in the summer of 2010 (I only eat poultry, not red meat.), the lack of transparency surrounding the meat industry continued to bother me. In general, North Americans are very disconnected from their food sources and most of us have no idea what the life of a typical food animal is like. But I do know and, like Maya Angelou said, when you know better you do better. And what better way to guarantee that the bird on my table had a happy life and a merciful death than to do it myself?
So one night, after drinking a couple of beer while sitting around a campfire, a friend and I had a light bulb moment – let’s raise our own chickens! Like many other alcohol-fueled plans, there were a few holes in our brilliant idea but we decided to push on. We did a bunch of research and decided on a small-scale trial to see how things go. Our twenty newly hatched chicks will arrive on April 19 and through this blog I hope to share our experiences - from the practical side of raising your own birds to what if feels like to care for your future dinner to some of the sticky moral questions that surround our food choices. I hope you'll join us on our journey!