I spent an enjoyable day helping friends harvest their broilers. There is satisfaction in turning these chickens into food for human nourishment. It is not cruel or abusive. It is ethical treatment of these animals. It is part of the circle of life which the Lord has laid out for us. It is a symbiotic bond. Our purpose is to take good care of these chickens for their short lives. Their purpose is then to sustain our families. They have a right to a life without pain or discomfort. We have a responsibility to raise them properly and a right to use them for food. I believe it is a holistic relationship ordained by God.
I understand some people feel squeamish about the harvesting process. I did too at first. It is not pleasant but you get used to it. You get blood on you. The smells are disagreeable. Eviscerating the chickens is distasteful. But in the end when you put an iced carcass in a plastic bag and is ready to put into soup or in the frying pan or on a rotisserie, you know that it is all right and there is a sense of fulfillment in being involved in the processing.
I am not suggesting that everyone needs to raise and harvest their own chickens. But I am encouraging everyone to understand and accept this process and appreciate the farmers who do it for you. So when you pick up a frozen chicken in the store, please remember where it came from – it once lived on a farm, a farmer took care of it, a processing company harvested it for you, and there is nothing wrong with you, your children, and your grandchildren eating it as long as you appreciate it and give thanks to Heavenly Father for it.
Dale at the killing cones.
Dale eviscerating a chicken. The gizzards in the foreground will be cleaned later.
The finished carcass goes into ice water.