This weekend I finally resolved our issue with the rogue Rooster. I caught him on Saturday roaming through my garage so I managed to pick him up without too much fuss. I had my slaughtering knife already sharpened and stored in the sheath so I had no need to mess around with that. I was able to calmly carry him out to the killing cone and remove his head. It sounds a lot weirder to type it than the process itself. I have been processing animals for several years now and I have managed to have it down so that I can, sometimes, do it with little emotional connection. Please don’t get me wrong, I took no pleasure in the process, despite the Rooster decimating our Strawberry, Blueberry and Current production for the year.
I remember the day that I killed my first animal, which happened to be two piglets who I had raised from birth (I had actually assisted in their birth). I had prepared for it very extensively, reading several books on slaughtering and butchering pigs, watching a couple of videos on butchering, and even attending a seminar on butchering. I had collected and sharpened my knives, sorted out a process to heat water so that I could remove the hair from the pigs, and cleared my whole day of any events so that I was free to do what needed to be done. I had ensured that the piglets did not eat the day before (as my books advised) and as always provided them with plenty of clean water.
I started early on a Saturday morning, taking a large breakfast and a couple cups of coffee to get myself in the right frame of mind. Taking my rifle, ammunition and hearing protection out the pig pen I stood watching the pigs. The morning was cool and clear, a beautiful Autumn morning. I loaded the rifle and prepared to take aim. As I did this an internal dialogue began in my mind…
Once I killed these animals I would never be able to go back, they would be dead.
Once done, I would have killed an animal for my own benefit, did I have the right to kill these animals?
Such thoughts roamed through my mind as I stood watching the pigs in their pen, loaded rifle in my arms. I thought to myself that if these animals were not to be eaten, they would not have been born. Without the need for the meat I would not have allowed their parents to breed. I told myself that the pigs had a good life. They had spent their early lives with the mother. They had played with their siblings. They enjoyed good food, water and shelter. I protected them and I actually helped them to be born. I thought about how could I eat meat if I were not prepared to go through the process of preparing the meat myself… how could I enlist other people to do this when I could not do it? Finally, how could I be a Prepper if I could not provide for my family. This seemed to calm my racing mind and I came to the realisation that no matter how distasteful this was, it was something which needed to be done.
My mind sorted out, I raised my rifle, flicked the safety off and took aim at the first pig. My first shot went through the rear part of the skull, the area which housed the brain. I was using hollow point .357 ammunition so the pig dropped immediately with a few kicks of it’s leg. The second pig was startled by the sound of the shot and quickly moved over to the side of the pen. I chambered another round into the rifle and took aim at the second pig. I had to wait a few seconds till the right angle was presented to me for me to take the shot. This, again, seemed to kill the pig instantly… or at least this is what I hope happened.
Afterwards I did feel regret, I actually had difficulty in eating the meat as every bite reminded me of those piglets. Even cooking the meat made me feel a little sick, as I could swear that I smelt the live pigs. Kitty told me that I was imagining this, as she said that the meat smelt delicious and tasted great.
While I have now managed to, usually, detach myself from the emotional aspect of slaughtering animals… I still, sometimes, find the meat makes me feel a little uneasy when I eat it.
Do any of you have a similar feeling when you killed your first animal? I would be interested in reading your comments on how you have felt about this.