The other day Mike and I slaughtered our first chicken for eating.
It was a horrible disaster.
I originally bought 12 eggs from an auction in Perth back in the fall (which is spring for you North American/Europeans reading). The breed is Sussex, which are large and are dual purpose as a meat bird, (they lay eggs too!). 5 of our little eggs hatched and from the moment they broke free they were destined to be food for our bellies. We fed them lots, and kept them in a medium sized pen to keep them from burning too much energy (and slow the weight gaining process).
Living sustainably is very important to me. I’ve learned that things, are only things. No one will care when you kick it and and 10 feet underground what car you drove, how much your mortgage was, or what designer threads you rocked. There was a point a couple of years ago when I stopped and thought about my footprint on the environment.
I wanted to garden, collect fresh free range eggs and eat meat that we raised and slaughtered, milk our very own cow. I wanted to know what went into our animals was not only food, but love. Sounds cheesy, but I love animals more than is probably acceptable as a farmer.
I am not a perfect environmentalist. In fact, I’ve got serious flaws. I use razor’s that require changing (a lot) and despite being a small attachment made of plastic and metal, I still feel guilty when I pick them up. But god, know’s I wouldn’t give up shaving my legs and arm pits… I’ve seen what that looks like and it’s horrifying. Before my world revolved around men (or women for that matter) I never cared to shave my legs in the winter (it was so itchy) with the cold weather, my sister would always give me an ear full if she caught a glimpse of my furry calves. So the razor stays, for the good of man kind. Waxing would be more sustainable, however there is that 2 week hairy period…and Mike probably doesn’t want to see the gorilla version of me.
To know that pig pig lived a relatively happy, relaxed existence made me happy (however, I’ve not eaten much of him) <- that’s my problem, it’s not pork in the freezer….it’s Pig Pig. It’s a he. Mike assures me he (it) is delicious and that I am missing out. In fact Brian and Tessa also raved (as he (it) was part of their freezer rations as well). He’s (It’s) fed two families for over 8 months.
I still cave to new clothes, I love new lingerie, sweater, flattering shirt or dress….fashion.
Perhaps I should say I am 30% committed to living sustainably.
I’ve got a winter garden pumping out veggies at the moment, and now we’re starting to slaughter our sussex for the freezer.
The first chop of the axe saw the roosters head fly off. My leg suddenly felt hot and wet. An artery must have sprayed all over me as I was covered in blood. It was dripping down into my boots.
That wasn’t even too horrific.
The part that got me, was plucking the feathers. I’m not too bad at it, and got most of them out relatively easily. But, a few of them required extra tugging. The force tore the skin and exposed the fat underneath. It was thick and yellow, and made me gag.
I continued on and finished my portion of the work. The bird was bare.
Mike agreed to gut it, and I had to stand and help read the instructions. Well, the smell of the guts, is putrid.
Niether of us had gloves on, and so unfortunately the smell on our hands stuck around for a few hours. We washed and washed, and squeezed lemons to cut the smell.
The chicken was placed in the fridge to chill for a couple of days.
We roasted it last night, and put fresh oregano and spices on it with olive oil and left it to slow roast.
It smelled great, and Mike was so eager for me to try a bit, I had a small piece and it was ok. But, I kept having memory reactions and registering the smell. The putrid smell.
This was a bad idea.
I made myself a meal of left overs, and we sat across the table from one another. He was telling me about the delightful taste. I enjoyed my wrap (avocados, ground beef, cheese cilantro, salsa, and yogurt) until I saw yellow. I started to gag eating my beef wrap!
Then Mike showed me a piece of his chicken, and told me to look at the fat.
There it was.
I left the table to prevent myself from spewing all over the both of us.
I feel like an asshole. I feel like I had a bird loose it’s life and I don’t even appreciate the gift he’s given us.
The only plus side is that Mike loves the taste and really enjoyed his dinner (and lunch today).