Later, as I packed the birds into freezer bags I realised we had forgotten to honour them. It has been a tradition since we dispatched our first roosters that we talk to them, praise and thank them for giving us food. These poor creatures had been shown little respect in their final hours, becoming just an annoying chore in a busy day and one had died an unnecessary death due to our unawareness.
The following day, I prepared a full roast dinner from our big boy, laid the table and lit candles and we gave him a loving send off. The remaining white meat was made into risotto for dinner and the carcass boiled down for stock. Today we ate chicken soup and froze two extra serves.
Maybe I am too sentimental about my animals. It is my nature to be respectful towards all creatures and give thanks for my rich life and full belly. I knew that rooster, watched him hatch and grow what he ate and his personality. It didn’t stop me killing and eating him when necessary.
I believe that if more of us took the time to become more responsible for and aware of our food sources and show them respect, there would be less consumption of meat in faceless packages and we would waste less of what we do eat.