There is something very personal and intimate about choosing your own food, especially when it involves a chicken, fully fledged and very much alive, destined for your curry… I took the plunge this afternoon, and being born a farmer’s daughter, surely I know very well where meat comes from and have witnessed many a chicken coming to its end – and yes the expression ‘walking around like a headless chicken’ is not made up.
But the act of selecting the victim is quite something else. On facing the noisy chickens, I hesitated slightly and found it difficult to look them into the eye, so I left the choosing to ‘the doctor’ (Really??? Or just a rather inaccurate translation for ‘man who will kill the chicken’??) with the instruction I wanted a small one. I tried to avoid watching what would happen next but as the price was determined by the live bird, I needed to see it hanging up by its wings – protesting rather loudly – on the weighing scale.
I discreetly withdrew from the premises and stood outside keeping my mind filled with other things than the goings-on inside. And the last thing I felt like contemplating was eating this chicken, feeling extremely nauseous at the sound of all the hacking and slashing in the background. A mere ten minutes (if that much) elapsed between the chicken happily clucking away between its companions and the chicken being put in my hands neatly chopped in bite-size pieces ready to be cooked – this is assuming it was the same chicken; as I refused to be witness to the atrocity, I have to rely on the honesty of the ‘doctor’. But at that speed, at least there was not much suffering involved.
However, I have now put the chicken right at the bottom of my fridge, where it will stay until it has lost its ‘live’ or room temperature and resembles the shop-bought ones and is properly dead…But I cannot let it go to waste after such a sacrifice!!
May its soul rest in peace and its flesh be tasty in my curry.