We are processing our first batch of chickens tomorrow.
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 tomorrow. Can 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. :)