Sunday, October 18, 2015

We Bought a Farm: Their last supper

We are processing our first batch of chickens tomorrow.

Ninety not-so-little-anymore-chickens.

By processing, I mean killing. And packaging. And selling. And freezing. And eating.

Today, we gave them their last meal around noon. When I returned at dinner time, I didn't feed them. They were looking for it. But it didn't come. I felt great guilt as I went to feed the layers and our second batch of chickens who are two weeks younger and just skipped right by our eight week old meat chickens.

It is an incredibly surreal feeling for me -- one filled with mixed emotions.

Here is what my brain sounds like right now:

I eat meat. I like meat. I have never had any thoughts about not being a meat eater. I believe that God created our bodies to eat meat and that it was part of his design. I recognize that these chickens were raised simply to be eaten. That was their mission from the moment they were hatched. And honestly, we couldn't just let them all loose and have millions of chickens running around our planet. I love Chik-fil-A. Chik-fil-A exists because someone like me raises and feeds and culls chickens. But why do they have to die so that I can eat?I really hate that they only get eight weeks on this planet. JB tells me that our goal is that they have only one bad day in their life. That the rest of their time is happy and healthy and clean and pure. But I hate going to bed thinking that they have to die tomorrowCan I really do this? Can I really be a farmer's wife? How many times will I have to hug my little Sidge as he says good bye to a pig that suddenly dies -- tears streaming down his pudgy little dirt-smudged cheeks? Maybe my heart is not tough enough. 

There you have it. The truth behind this farmer's wife. I really feel like a fraud. A fake. I feel like my experiences each day are so out-of-body -- like I am looking at myself from the outside and thinking, "Is that you Wendi? Are you really wearing big ol' rubber boots and feeding chickens?"

I'm still dumbfounded that this is me. That this beach bum from Fort Lauderdale, Florida is now a farmer's wife in the mountains of eastern Tennessee. 

About to process chickens.



P.S. To any of my vegetarian friends, as always I respect your differing opinions, but I'm not really up for a debate about meat vs. non-meat. To each his own in that regard. :)


Anonymous said...

I completely feel ya. But I don't have to process chickens tomorrow! Good luck.


Dana said...

I totally get this post. I am definitely a carnivore, never even thought about being a vegetarian. Until my now husband took me to meet his parents for the first time. And I met their cows, cows with NAMES!, and was served Lucy that night on the grill! I cried like an idiot and couldn't eat it! I am still a carnivore...I just prefer not to know my animals before I eat them. So I have to applaud your bravery on being able to do what someone must so that people like me can live in denial!! LOL

Anonymous said...

I love the approach that you are taking to eating meat. While I am also not a vegetarian, in addition to the way that animals are treated being concerning to me, so is the way that people so easily throw away meat (because they don't like leftovers or whatever). If everyone lived as closely with their animals as you do, I just don't think this would be as much of an issue. So kudos on that front.

There was one thing about this post that bothered me refer to yourself (as you do many times) as a farmer's wife. There are two reasons this kind of phrasing isn't my favorite. First, what is the example that it sets for daughters? That they are to define themselves by their husbands someday? And what happens if they don't marry? But also, it diminishes your own accomplishments. You are not a farmer's wife, but rather you are a farmer. You get up early. You feed animals. You are just as much a part of the farm as your husband.

Wendi Kitsteiner said...


That is an interesting angle -- one I will have to think on more. But for now, I have to be honest with you. I do not consider myself a farmer. A farmer is the one breathing this and dreaming this and drawing it up. That isn't me. This is not my passion. I am a mom. My husband is a farmer and I am standing alongside them.

I do believe, absolutely, that my girls could be farmers themselves someday, but I don't consider myself to be filling in on that role -- at least not right now in our journey.

But it's a very valid thing to think about!