I've tossed around the idea of going vegetarian numerous times over the past few years, but I've never gotten close to actually doing it. The idea of having to put in extra effort to get all of my necessary nutrients, imposing on my family members to cook vegetarian meals, and not being able to eat waffles and bacon on Saturday mornings, prevented me from following through in the past. However, when I found out that we were slaughtering chickens, and specifically that meat-eaters were encouraged to attend, I reconsidered.
I knew that it wouldn’t feel right to eat these chickens—the same chickens that swarmed to you when you brought their grain and ran away when you tried to pick them up to put them in their coop—but even just the thought of watching the slaughter was enough to make me shudder. I decided that the most logical course of action was to become a vegetarian, thus eliminating my problem; but even with this solution in mind, I still wallowed in my conflict for days leading up to the slaughter.
Eventually, I decided to attend. After all, the Sustainability Program is meant to foster a connection between us and what we eat, a connection that has been diminished in the modern world; in light of this, becoming a vegetarian solely to avoid seeing the truth of meat production seemed terribly melodramatic. So, the morning of the slaughter, I made myself a cup of tea and went out to the field.
In retrospect, I’m glad that I did. Now I have a greater understanding of where the meat that I eat comes from and how it is processed; and even if I am still considering becoming a vegetarian, which I think I always will be, now I can say that I am considering it because of what I know, rather than what I didn’t want to know.