Every now and then my wife and I talk about our future home. Recently we added a chicken coop to the imaginary layout. My wife likes the idea of freshly-laid eggs. I know raising chickens will also involve harvesting their meat. Of course, I’d be the one doing the slaughtering.
Slaughtering is necessary. When a flock has too many males, the males fight. “Freeing” a male into the woods guarantees a grisly death. Putting males up for adoption won’t work; others would probably face the same problem. If the bird is useless, one may as well eat it. Similar reasoning applies to old and injured birds.
Slaughtering is also educational. It forces you to learn more about the true cost of meat-eating. I’ve thrown away my fair share of rotten supermarket-purchased pre-cut meats. That’s a waste of life. If I harvested my own meat, I’m sure I’d steward it much better.
Death and life in the wild compared to on a “farm”
A childhood spent watching nature documentaries tells me most deaths in the wild are horrendous. I provide some examples below. The first two are pretty bloodless. The last one is not so bloodless. And not only are the deaths painful, life itself is a struggle. Not only are the deaths painful and often drawn out, but life itself is a struggle. Even animals at the top of the food chain can starve. Even though life on a farm also ends in death, the life itself is easier and possibly longer. To me it seems a reasonable trade, and looks better the less existential problems a given animal faces.
I searched YouTube to satisfy my curiosity. If I couldn’t watch slaughters online, I would have to reconsider my meat eating in general. Below are videos of various animal slaughters: chicken, duck, rabbit, cow, and pig. I don’t know enough to say whether each method was humane. For what it’s worth, each death looked quick. I’m not a gun owner, but the shotgun handling in the last one seemed careless.