Yesterday, I mentioned the chicken. She was still suffering by the afternoon. We (my neighbor and I) got wonderful help through HipChickDigs who came by to give us a tutorial and a hand. I felt a big relief in having it done with, as I knew the hen was hurting.
All in all, it was...unnerving, odd, fast, and circle-of-lifeish.
Unnerving because I saw an animal get killed. On purpose. But yet I should be ok with this, as an omnivore who eats chicken. To see it happen though is unnerving.
Odd. I was both relieved and sad to see the hen go. She was suffering, so yes, it was a good thing, but then again, she was supposed to live so much longer.
Fast... it was very strange to see how FAST a feathered hen can go from that to being something you'd recognize in a grocery store. In fact, when you're doing the gutting/cleaning, it's not MUCH different than reaching into a turkey cavity and pulling out the bits in there for you. I thought that'd be the worse part, but by the time we reached that part (rather fast), we were all hunched over the bird, learning.
Circle of lifeish: forgive the hippiness in that statement, but that's as best as I have. I eat meat. A hen is meat. Rather than have it brought to me, I saw what it was and what it became. It was oddly personal; this was not an animal I shot from afar.
All in all, I think I could do this later when the time comes. It's not something I'd like to do every day; I like having the sensitivity to life, and I worry that any sort of frequency might dull that.
I don't know yet if I will eat the bird. She's awfully small (maybe 1lb?), and, more importantly, she was not healthy before she died. While the meat should be fine... I have my hesitancies, and so she'll probably end up buried in a quiet spot in the backyard. But she gave us a lesson nonetheless. If she had been healthier, then yes. Or if I had seen her fall. But since I hadn't, I don't want to take any chances, however minute.
But the whole event made me appreciate my food more. Generally, when I eat chicken, it's consumed, not really appreciated. If I was to eat her, I'd be appreciative of her and what she gave. The best analogy (however different) I can draw is eating storebought cookies mindlessly and then savoring homemade ones. It's a much more powerful feeling than that, but that's the best I have right now. Thankfulness.