I love meat! I’ve always loved meat. Anyone who’s gone out to eat with me can usually tell pretty quickly that I’m a big meat eater. I’m like Ron Swanson level lover of bacon and eggs. Chicken nuggets? One of God’s greatest gifts to man.
For the last few years, I’ve had my eating habits called into question by friends of mine who are vegetarian or vegan. I figured the best way to know whether or not my conscience was truly okay with me eating meat was to come face to face with the brutal reality of what has to happen for that meat to get to my plate. So… I killed a chicken.
This wasn’t an impulsive decision. I’d been saying for months before I left for Africa that I was going to do it at some point while I was there. I told myself if I couldn’t kill a chicken, then I shouldn’t be able to eat it anymore. So two weeks ago, I went for it.
My friend Frankie volunteered to help me through the process. We went to a store down the road, asked for a big chicken, paid 7k shillings (only $3), and carried the chicken home.
As soon as the chicken got placed in Frankie’s arms, I thought “Oh my god, there’s no way that I can do this.” I felt so sad looking at the poor thing being carried to its death.
Frankie was completely unphased. He’s been doing it for years. As he prepared the knife and a bucket of water, I sat and thought through it. As sad as I was, the thought of never being able to eat meat again made me sadder.
Frankie grabbed the chicken and told me step by step what to do. I placed one foot on the wings and the other on its feet. I grabbed its head and chopped off its neck. As soon as I did that, I stepped back and started hysterically sobbing. It turned into one of those awkward laughing cries, where you’re upset and also in disbelief of the situation. I also was yelling “Oh my God” loudly enough that the neighbors came to see if everything was alright.
I’m grateful Frankie was there, because as soon as the chickens head came off, it flapped around like crazy! If he weren’t there to hold it while I cried, its body could have flopped away!
We plucked its feathers, took out its insides, and prepped it for cooking. Frankie took the lead on cooking. He made us chicken soup and chicken covered in some sort of sauce and my goodness were they delicious!
I was so hungry and excited to eat that I only got these two poor quality photos:
So it turns out, my conscience is okay with me eating meat, and I never need to doubt that again. The experience gave me a renewed appreciation for every single delicious bite of meat that I have. It also gave me the chance to further immerse myself in the local lifestyle. Overall, it was a positive experience.
I am glad that I followed through with what I said I would do and that I can now stand my ground the next time someone says “You wouldn’t eat it if you had to kill it yourself.”