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ORIGIN early 19th cent.: from French, from abattre ‘to fell.’
Just over one week ago I stood on a kill floor for the first time. In many ways I've been building up to that moment for a few years now [at least], learning about food systems and production and how the food we eat gets from the farm to the table. In elementary school we were assigned a research paper, and my initial "animal rights" topic quickly changed to a more focused study of slaughterhouses. What I learned turned me off meat for months, as I recall.
But let's face it. I'm like many other red-blooded Americans who love bacon and steak and fried chicken and Thanksgiving turkey. My studies [and interests in life] led me to food, and I changed the way I bought milk, where I shopped, what I shopped for. My internship in Italy got me so close to the food chain as helping raise animals, and seeing their carcasses return in halves, still warm.
But this whole part about death... that part scared me as it does so many people. It's easier to turn away and pretend that pork chops simply come from the grocery store in neat little bloodless, and plastic-wrapped, packages. I've seen film footage, both raw and in documentary form about it, but I wondered how I would feel actually being there for the moment of death. Could I ever, EVER, eat it again?