The process of transforming a chicken to “chicken” is one I don’t do often enough to get blasé about. Having raised and cared for each of these birds for years, it offends my inner SJW. I feel like a bad person. I put it off and rehearse excuses, which offends my inner mountain man. I feel like a wimp.
Finally I fall back on the ritual of meticulous preparation.
My immediate forebears and several contemporary relatives were Michigan rednecks, but I myself was a bookish little white boy from Detroit. So my experiences are spotty: I’ve buried hundreds of pounds of viscera from a highly illegal deer-slaughtering “factory” on my brother-in-law’s central Michigan farm, but I’ve never personally killed a deer. I recall a Thanksgiving when I was a little kid, when my father and his longtime friend Charlie Kittle decided to do the meal the traditional way – starting with a live turkey. I wanted to “help,” but my father wouldn’t even let me watch. This was something he and Uncle Charlie knew how to do, but he seemed to regard it as something to be hidden away. Of course he treated a lot of things like that. My father didn’t talk much, and never about his past or family.
Just do the deed, that’s all.
And that – I remind myself – is where food comes from. Having handled a thousand of these in supermarkets, once it’s a naked eviscerated carcass it magically stops being a gross violation of decency and just becomes “chicken.”
Does that seem right to you?