Chicken in a dumpster

I found a chicken in a dumpster a few days ago.  It was dead, beheaded, plucked, gutted, wrapped in plastic.  And thrown in a bin.  What a way to go.

I took pity on it, and took it home.  It made me sad to see a life wasted like that.

I tried to imagine what it would be like, to live and die like this chicken.  To spend my whole life in a shed, then killed to spend a few days on a refrigerated shelf in a brightly-lit supermarket.  What would I look like, if it was me in that position?  I picture myself beheaded, gutted, squeezed into shrink-wrap plastic, on a supermarket shelf waiting for someone to buy me, and then thrown in a dumpster when no-one does.

I chose to cook and eat it to do something to honour its life, but this doesn’t feel like enough.  A life needs to be worth more than that.

I haven’t cooked meat for many years, and rarely eat it.  I want to start eating more animal fat, bone broth and stock.  It makes sense to me to cook with animal fat rather than vegetable oil, as it is readily available and often thrown out, whereas vegetable oil takes a lot of land, work, machinery and processing to be useable.  Animal fats also have health benefits over vegetable oil – they are necessary to absorb fat-soluble vitamins and minerals, contain essential omega 3, and don’t degrade with cooking.

Roasting this chicken made me feel feral, like a savage, a hunter, almost cannibalistic.  Seeing this animal being cooked, and then putting my fingers into its body, separating the meat from the bone, felt like something that a civilized human would never need or want to do.  I find it hard to comprehend that many people do this regularly, without ever having thoughts of the life they are taking, or the feelings of savagery that I am having now.

After separating the meat, I put the bones, fat and gristle into a pot of water and simmered it for a couple hours, to make stock.  I strained out the solids, and the water cooled into a thick jelly, not what I was expecting at all.  The stock of one chicken gave me several dinners of chicken soup.

I feel like I should bring all this together somehow, make some conclusion, but I don’t have any conclusions to make.

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