Warning: This post may be too much for the squeamish — those who prefer not to think about where their food comes from.
Last week there was a video making the rounds of the Interweb of a certain “political celebrity” giving an interview while a turkey slaughter was happening in the background. There was a lot of hullabaloo about the scene, and about the celebrity showing no concern about the activity.
All you citified folk who’ve never seen food “prepared” from the farm, let me tell you what I’ve seen.
My granddaddy and grandmomma (on my father’s side) lived on a farm. I visited usually every weekend (at least on Sundays, after church), and I’d sometimes spend a week there in the summers. On the farm, they had chickens, pigs, and goats.
I’ve tried milk still warm from a goat. (I didn’t like it.) I’ve collected eggs from the chickens in the morning, watched my grandma cook them, and ate them for breakfast. I’ve seen a chicken’s neck wrung, watched it kick and flap until it stopped. I’ve seen pigs castrated — not something I want to see again. I’ve petted a pig one day, watched it slaughtered the next day, and dined on its delicious meat the next.
My grandparents (on my mother’s side) were seafood lovers. I’ve caught fish and crabs, watched them be gutted, and loved the cooked meat.
My step-dad was an avid deer hunter, and I sometimes went with him. Though I never managed to kill a deer, myself, I’ve seen them killed. I’ve watched as a deer was skinned, dressed, and the meat cut up. For years, my family ate deer meat (instead of beef) killed by my step-dad, or one of his hunting buddies.
None of the people above would have ever thought it anything odd to be photographed while a slaughter went on in the background. Hell, they wouldn’t have thought it anything odd to be performing the slaughter in a photograph. The process was no more unusual to them than picking apples off a tree or picking ears of corn off a stalk.
Slaughter happens. It has to happen if we’re to eat meat — and I eat meat. So, although I don’t enjoy seeing the process, (and I haven’t seen it in many years, now), I just can’t get all upset when someone else has no problem with the process.