Chicken Processing with Mission High
No Comments since March 13th, 2012
As part of our programming at Pie Ranch, we attempt to engage our students in thought provoking exercises about what it means to be a responsible consumer on this planet. The natural rhythm of a farm is the sowing, reaping and dying of plant and animal life as they complete their cycles. Here on the farm, we make sure the land we farm & the animals we keep are tended to with the highest possible care & consideration. When our partner schools come to assist with the culling of our older birds, they arrive with a history of engagement with the chickens during all parts of the chicken’s cycle: from egg to chick, pullet to productive layer and finally, meat bird. Our educators, Mary Ann & Debbie, guide the students through exercises surrounding chicken anatomy, humane & compassionate slaughter, dressing the birds and most importantly, what it means to take a life for this purpose.
The students from Mission High handled their tasks with the utmost seriousness & respect for the chickens they were processing. We would like to share some of their thoughts here.
From the moment I stepped onto the bus to the point of now reflecting on the process; the true meaning of taking a life away has impressed me dramatically. It makes me think about my future and taking a lesson out of this experience to honor my food above all else, and to thank God for each time my body needs energy. When we were approaching the chickens I was expecting to just learn how to kill a chicken the right way and practice it as a skill I would use on the Mission field as I do my ministry on foreign soil…. But no; it went deeper than that, once I looked into the chicken’s eyes, I choked inside, paralyzed, scared, doubtfully attempting this process… But I knew I had to do this, not out of enjoyment but deep reverence for the chickens! I will never forget this moment engraved in my heart, soul and mind.- Marvin
I was pretty excited today because I killed an animal for the first time. I always wanted to do it because I wanted to see how it feels to be an animal killer since I eat meat almost everyday. After I killed the chicken, I felt like I understood the meaning of eating meat deeper. Before, to me, chickens were just food. But today, after I killed one myself, I finally realized that they are living lives, just like us humans. Since we’re at the top of the food chain, we get to eat them. But when we kil them, we have to be respectful like we did today. Not like those conventional farms where they kill chickens inhumanely.- Araceli
The students ended their day with instruction from our Chef Educator on how to season & roast chickens in preparation for soup. Other students opted to help plant more apple trees during the chicken processing. All the students & instructors came together for a meal at the end of the projects where the events of the day were discussed & explored.
Thank you Mission High students for your thoughtful & respectful comportment on this special day.