Monday, April 23, 2012

But I thought you were an animal lover?

I hear some variation of that question pretty much every time I tell people about my plans for the chickens currently camped out in Tina’s family’s shed.

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:

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