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My friends have a farm, of sorts, just outside Ithaca, NY.

My friends have a farm, of sorts, just outside Ithaca, NY. They have a lovely house with acres of property, two goats, a handful of ducks, chickens, cats, a chinchilla, and a wonderful, rambunctious dog named Molly. The problem with the above scenario, is that they have two roosters who do not get along. At. All.

So last weekend, as we we're playing nerdy board games, the problem of the roosters came up. Roosters are good for a few things- keeping the hens in line (just kidding), making more chickens, waking you up in the morning (is that a good thing?), and soup. We discussed how one of the roosters didn't have much longer, and what was going to happen to him. My friends, farmers though they wanted to be, had never actually killed any of their animals, or anyone else's animals. So I offered to help. They are mostly vegetarian but eat humanely and sustainably raised meat. This rooster was destined for greatness.

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I have a little experience killing chickens. And after a YouTube refresher (short notice, no friendly farmers nearby), we went outside to round-up the rooster. He was beautiful, with blue and burgundy feathers, a black copper maran. And a fat and heavy bird. We sat with him for a while, and I thanked him for what he had given us thus far.

We stuck him upside down in an altered traffic cone, let him settle, and went from there. The process of killing, de-feathering, and gutting was an extended one for the inexperienced. It was easier for me since I had no emotional or any attachment to the bird. I was simply there as a guide, and for moral support for the sympathetic humans. As he began to look less like animal, and more like dinner, our biological fascination with anatomy took over. There was a certain matter-of-factness to it all as we continued separating out the edible from the inedible.

But it wasn't easy by any means. There's a cold callousness to death within a harsh reality. Facing mortality makes me more appreciative of every moment of my day. The experience reminded me of how appreciative I am of the food I eat. How it nourishes me and empowers me to share my passion. How it connects me to my community and something beyond myself. How it brings people together to share conversations about equality and access, conservation and consumption, local and global.

So, thanks rooster. For reminding me of all these good things and giving me a little taste of what is yet to come.

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Posted in Organic Products Post Date 04/06/2017