Wednesday, July 19, 2006
The little chick that I nestled in my hand 8 weeks ago is now a large bird and ready tomorrow to travel with its pen mates to King's, the processor. When we raised the first batch of broilers a few years ago, I treated them more as pets. I talked to them, I let them out of their pens to play each day and I felt horrible when they went to the processor. I managed to cook the chickens but couldn't eat them. My memories of them were too emotional. But I got past that point and came to terms with their role in life and how to deal with it.
I have to admit that I still am not crazy about the thought of them going off and I do go in with them the night before and tell them I'm sorry (yes, I know, I'm a wuss). They come back, looking like supermarket chickens and I know they have had good lives and were treated well, fed well, and humanely killed. I can't offer them more than that in this life cycle.
I took this photo of the last group of chickens loaded into crates on their way to the processor. They have space, light, air and are calm and relaxed. I believe if the public knew the facts behind their average chicken dinner produced on a large commercial chicken rearing facility, they may reconsider who they buy them from. And the same applies to eggs. But I won't go into my rant about animal rights and humane treatment. If you want that argument, email me.
Pastel is not something that I'm good at drawing with. I see artists who produce amazing pieces with it and I can only wonder at the process and muddle along with childlike colours of my own. I loved the colours in this piece - the blues and yellows speak of summer. Unfortunately, the photo of the piece didn't come out well and I haven't done a scan of it yet.
Tags: broilers, chicks, chickens, pastel, drawing