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Ethical dilemma

 
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As I am in the process of looking at land to start a permaculture farm, I am faced with the idea/need to take a life in order to eat. I am not hypocritical in that I know what it means to eat (really enjoy) meat and appreciate those who can grow, clean and eat their own animals. I have no problem knowing that in order for me to eat flesh, that an animal must die. My issue is that I have never personally killed a breathing animal in order to eat them. I hope you will understand I am asking because I want to be able to be able to raise and process my own animals, most likely, chickens, rabbits and pigs. I am sure I will get an emotional attachment to the animals I raise. I do not feel it is right to have someone else do the deed, so to speak, to make it easier. Has anyone else felt the same way? If so, how did you deal with the emotional aspect of killing the animals? Hopefully someone out there understands where I am coming from and can add some insight. Thanks Kim
 
gardener
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I am a city dweller who had no direct experience with animals outside of keeping them as pets, so I think I can relate to how you are feeling. I started raising chickens and my family members all kind of gave me a look when I said I was going to start slaughtering them myself. They had never done it so they kind of had the same feeling. So when the time came to kill the first one I was pretty sad a sort of worried. I had thought long and hard about myself and the act of killing and already decided that if I was going to be a good care taker of this flock I had to be the one to do it. When the time came it was stressful partly because I did not really know what I was doing, but I got through it and eventually ate my chicken.

Because of everything I know about what chickens like to do and what I am consciously doing with the chickens inside my "system", the feelings of being unsure and emotional at dispatch time have completely passed. It is as if I just got used to it and gained a different appreciation for the nature of chickens and the nature of myself.
I have a lot more chickens than when I started, because I have eaten a lot less than they have created. They are better off (manageable) because of the ones I've eaten.
It was difficult to face up to the direct connection of the kill, but in the end I would rather be directly connected and face my feelings instead of just going to pick up some chicken at the store and be able to avoid it.
 
steward
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Kim, here is an old thread that might have some answers for you. Paul posted a good video there too.


https://permies.com/t/8690/chickens/Respectful-harvest-chickens

(Edited with another link)
 
Kim Hill
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Zach thank you so much for sharing your experiences with me!
Miles-for some reason the link you shared will not open. I am not sure if it is a setting in my computer or what. I appreciate you took the time to look it up for me. Maybe direct me in that direction as in which forum you found it or which search you did. Kim
 
Mother Tree
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I found these two videos helpful to watch.



 
Miles Flansburg
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Kim, huh thats weird. I just bumped the thread to the top of the recent topics list.

(OK, not sure where that link came from but I edited it with a better one.)
 
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I feel that some folks may just have too much "Karmic Debt," as I once heard it expressed...Some are just too kind of Souls to take another life. I personally do not have issue with that. Even within our culture...just because you are born Male...does not mean you automatically become a Warrior. It was a privilege and a burden, that one usually got called too and did not necessarily get automatically.

Taking life is a very serious event...not all can cope with it..nor should they in my view. In many cultures being a "shadow giver" or "spirit maker" was only given to a few.

If you do not feel equipped emotionally, physically or otherwise to shoulder this somber burden...then don't and feel no guilt from it. It is the place of others to serve this task in my view...and it may not be upon you.

Regards,

j
 
pollinator
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It took me a few years to work up to it, but I slaughter my own poultry. For $10 I took a "Backyard Chicken Harvesting" class with a friend who then slaughtered some of my chickens. I still haven't harvested anything larger but I do make it a point to be present when the cattle, sheep, pigs are harvested on my property.
 
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