Done once or twice a week, today at The Garden of Spices it was the time for the processing of live poultry, a process done at the farm for their own birds as well as those from other area farms. This is reality. As an omnivore, I do not shy away from the necessities that bring meat to my table. I do my best, however, to assure that it comes from farms where the animals are raised humanely and abattoirs where they are slaughtered as humanely and cleanly as possible. The Garden of Spices, a true small family farm, fits on both counts.
Please do not read the rest of this post if you are not prepared to see graphic images of a poultry slaughterhouse.
Chickens awaiting their fate
Selecting the bird
The chicken is placed upside down in a collecting cone. Its throat is swiftly cut.
The bird quickly exsanguinates
The dead birds are collected…
…and scalded at 150ºF for easier plucking
Then shifted to a container…
… in which their feathers easily come off under a hose.
Any remaining feathers are plucked off.
The defeathered bird is removed…
…passed through an opening into another room…
The bird is packaged…
The offal gets sorted…
…and packaged separately. These are duck hearts.
Duck heads are bought by an Italian restaurant in NYC.
All parts of the birds are collected and sold.
While this is not a job that I would relish, it is a necessary job for someone to do if we are to be omnivores. That it is done with efficiency, dispatch and respect at The Garden of Spices is something that I truly appreciate. It is a part of life that in today's world few of us ever get to see or experience. It is easy to become disconnected from reality, especially when purchasing neatly packaged "cuts" in a supermarket. I believe that it is important to understand that the meat that we eat and enjoy has come from once living creatures that must command our respect and appreciation. I don't believe that either truly comes without an understanding of what it takes to put that meat on our plates.