Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sarah Palin and the Turkey killing

Everbody's seen the video, right? Sarah Palin is being interviewed at a turkey farm and in the background of the shot, the turkey farmer slaughters a couple of turkeys. The operation looked to me like a wholesome, small-quantity turkey operation. The pen looked clean and not over-crowded. The killing area had only two processing funnels. It looked to be a very low tech operation.

Some folks are in shock and horror. They're also in denial if they don't think that killing precedes eating.

Your curmudgeon was in the poultry business for a while before he got into police work. I worked at a chicken processing plant. Let me tell you, those turkeys were treated with a gentle hand. Three lines running seventy birds per minute. That's 210 birds a minute getting whacked. Two shifts of 8 hours each and you have 210K chickens being processed in a single day. It's efficient, it's regulated and inspected by the USDA, and it's study in carnage. Yet, if you eat chicken in the United States, you've participated.

There's nothing like working in a chicken plant to make you never want to eat chicken again. For about two years after I left that place I couldn't look at chicken as food. That was my first leadership position outside of the Army. I was the evisceration supervisor in charge of one line in the plant. We eviscerated chickens, 70 per minute, for eight hours a day. Every worker on my line was issued two razor-sharp knives at the start of every shift. That was a leadership challenge.

If you're not willing to kill and process your own meat, then you're really not willing to be a carnivore, are you?


JimB said...

Unfortunately most of the people are starting to believe the meat they eat is manufactured, be it poultry, beef or pork, on the little plastic trays the see at the market. There is no relationship between death and food. They are living in a fantasy world. JimB

Anonymous said...

I admit that I don't have a personal yen to go hunting. I'm in absolute favor of it as a sport, pastime, or mode of food gathering, but haven't overcome my 'watched Bambi as a kid' hangup. I consider that a failing, and I've been working out a way to overcome that.

I have fished (and cleaned the fish, cooked, and ate them). I have an acquaintance who hunts waterfowl and next year I hope to arrange a day or two out doing that, to include the cleaning and prepping and eating (if not the cooking).

After that I want to try a pig/boar. Get over the furry mammal thing. After that... well, I have had venison, and its darn good. I should earn some.

Like Sarah ;)