“Better than Skydiving”: The Backyard Slaughter IV
As I continue my crusade to make sense of the desire to personally kill the meat one eats, I’m starting to notice patterns, habits, tics, and all manner of rhetorical dodges. Undoubtedly, the most common response to the brutality of hacking dinner to death out back is that “I am getting to know where my food comes from.” Sure. But I don’t buy it. I don’t buy that this desire to know where meat comes from (is it that mysterious?) is as deeply prevalent, or convincing, as the commonality of this rationalization would suggest. We don’t feel the same way–or at least act like we do– about the lotions we apply to our bodies, the clothes we wear, the cars we drive, or the pharmaceuticals we take.
But there it is, over and over again, with every blood stained account being capped with a congratulatory “I now know where meat come from” response. It was thus with some excitement–well, as excited as one can get reading blogs by people who kill their own animals–that I came across what I have always thought is a deeper reason for this trend toward urban and suburban homesteading. Here we go, with an account by our blogger about witnessing a turkey slaughter at a French farmhouse:
I followed his quick gait to another barn where he had about 30 beautifully large turkey’s milling about. He grabs one by the neck, bounds his feet, and hangs him upside down in a matter of seconds and then grins at me. The kill gives him that same cave-man sort of excitement that I get. For those who aren’t squeamish, the thrill of killing your own food is an exhilaration better than skydiving. There is something so pure and animalistic about it—you embrace the energy of survival and need, the way it once was when the capture of an animal meant enough calories to survive another day and to feed and nourish your family.
Aha! The prehistoric appeal, the lure of the primitive, the desire to reconnect not with our food supply, but, alas, our inner caveman. It all Robert Bly and Joseph Campbell and the glorification of a day and age and way of life that was marked by utter despair and cruelty and abuse. Thank goodness we have evolved. Well, at least some of us have.