Monday, October 18, 2010

Don't Meet Your Meat

The chicken theme follows me every where I go. A couple of weeks ago after grocery shopping, we somehow lost a pack of chicken breasts and a box of oatmeal. They had gotten covered by a bag of clothing in the back of the van.  A couple of days later we smelled something horrible. I looked in the back and saw a hole chewed in the oatmeal container and oatmeal strung around the floor.

"Great," I thought, "There is a mouse in here and he ate the oatmeal but had no water and then died of thirst."

 I figured he was in there somemwhere and I had to find him fast. I got pair of gloves and started sorting through the clothing. Instead of a dead rodent, I discovered the long lost chicken. Autumn and I gagged all the way to the trash. It took days for that smell to give up and go away...it was so gross.

Today a friend called and said he had a very strange favor to ask. Earlier  he brought four chickens to the slaughter house to be processed, but they didn't get noticed and everyone left for the night. They were still in a dog carrier on the back porch. He wondered if I could swing by and grab them. I wondered how lucky can a chicken get? They survived a slaughter house?! He needed me to go pick them up because they weren't allowed to be on the back porch all night. I guess they have strict rules about live animals hanging around there causing trouble. He said he would bring them back the next day. :(

Lynden is very unique because the cemetery, the funeral home and the slaughter house greet you as you drive into town. I hate it..I try to go the back way whenever possible. I tried to talk my friend into giving the chickens a reprieve. Why kill them after they had been so faithful? Not everyone sees things my way. He told me they only lay an egg about every four days so they were of no use. Why throw feed to chickens who don't give back? I saw his point but my question is.....What do dogs give us? I don't see them laying eggs, nor do I know of anyone who milks their cats. And hey, his chickens were more productive than my dumb chickens who lay "none eggs a day," and then just keel over.

 I decided to stop being a baby and go pick them up. I told him I would bring them to him that night. I couldn't have them at my house because I would get too attached. I loaded the kids up and drove to the processing plant. It was almost dark as I turned down the gravel road behind the cemetery. Of course it was beyond creepy. Why wouldn't there be huge barrels, piles of metal, cages, and heaps of wooden pallets? It looked as if they tortured the poor things for information before they knocked them off.

We pulled around back and got out of the van. I kid you not, I could smell blood. I stepped over a skull of some kind, teeth and horns still intact. It's hollow eyes could barely see me through all of the dirt and grass covering it's face. Chase put his shirt over his nose and started gagging. Autumn told me to hurry up because it was the scariest place she had ever been to. We walked up the steps and were met by thankful clucking sounds. Little did those birds know I was only the transporter, not some hero.

I couldn't lift the carrier so I had to employ the help of the kids. The water, urine and poop spilled and poured onto the kids' feet because I lifted first. (oops) They screamed all the way down the steps.  The chickens were clucking with relief, and I couldn't bear to look them in the eye.

It REEKED..

.Autumn said ,.

"MOM!! This is NOT going to help the bad smell in our van at ALL!!!"

Once we got home we opened the back so they could have air...which seemed a bit silly to me. As we were walking in the house Autumn pointed out how crazy it was that our friends had to kill their chickens to get them to die, and ours just did it on their own...

Well, I am supposed to meet him in ten minutes with the chickens, so I guess I better get going. I could say they broke out somehow and ran away, then hide them in my hen house. But I am too overwhelmed and busy to start some underground chicken sanctuary.

THE NEXT DAY.....

OK................I brought the chickens to the specified location. I unloaded them, so grateful to get that smell out of my vehicle. He kept talking about that darn soup they were going to be made into. It just didn't sit well with me. I could understand a DINNER, but just SOUP?  Before I knew it I was saying these words...

"Well, you could always let me have them...I mean I have lots of room and the chickens I have don't lay eggs anyway."

I looked over at the chickens. Their little faces were peering though the bars at me. I knew I had to step it up a notch. I told him they would have five acres in which to free roam and a beautiful hen house to retire to each evening. He reminded me about the bully chicken I have. What if it picked on them? I pointed out that the butcher is WAY bigger of a bully then some hen, and they stood a better chance with me. (Yeah right)
He called his wife to see how set she was on getting chicken stock.

"I'll buy her some organic soup and bring it over!" I yelled.

Wow...I thought, this is getting silly. Why were these birds so suddenly important??? I didn't mention to him that my chickens don't really survive that long. But really, they didn't have a lot of options at this point. He called his wife and she agreed to let me have them as pets. You might be wondering if I am against eating chicken. Or if I eat it....

I'm not
I do.
I know, it's crazy.
It just boils down to one thing......

I can't eat meat I've met.

6 comments:

  1. Michelle you are too funny. I knew you wouldn't take them to the butcher after your rescue.

    Ron and I raised our own meat for over 10 years. We named all the animals. As babies they are darling BUT when they are ready for the butcher they are no longer cute...remember the pigs in my house???

    Hope you get some eggs out of the deal.

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  2. Just found your blog. What a funny read!

    I just wonder how long they'll last on 5 acres with the coyotes around.....

    speaking of naming animals, I had a friend who raised a cow for a year and then sold it to profit on the weight it had gained. He named it....Johnny Cash Cow.

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  3. That is the best ever name for a cow!!

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  4. That is a good story Michelle. I remember back to when I was served bear for dinner at some people's house and then shown the frozen bear head in their freezer. Does the whole, "I can't eat meat I've met" theory count if you just meet the head and it's already dead (and frozen?)... food for thought.

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  5. Shannon! That is so funny!!! hahahaha food for thought is right! I would have passed out.

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