Photo by S McGarnigle
Life is extraordinary. Just when you’re starting to feel comfortable and content, you're thrown a curve ball.
One minute you’re tucking in to a Thai Green Chicken Curry dish, savouring the flavours and commenting on the tenderness of the chicken. And then a traumatic event occurs and the next minute you’re swearing off chicken, meat and all its relations.
The said traumatic event happened to me at 8.30am this beautiful Sunday morning.
Chatting on the phone with a best friend who currently lives in London, I was only half paying attention as I picked some silverbeet leaves and tossed them into the chicken pen.
Several minutes later, I noticed that the chickens were more preoccupied with what they were doing. From where I stood, it looked as though they were each pecking at a rope. Still engrossed in my phone conversation, it took me a while to conclude that chickens would not be pecking at a piece of rope. It must have been a worm! The longest worm I had ever seen! My mind absorbed on the conversation as well as entranced with watching the chickens devour the worm my attention then focussed on a chicken still and lifeless on the ground.
When the realisation came to me that the worm the chickens has been feasting on was the intestine of the other, I got off the phone to fetch Ben. He ran to the pen with a plank of wood to put the chicken out of its misery and I began to feel nauseous. I went through the motions of dry reaching and as I hadn’t eaten any breakfast, nothing would come out.
I turned around and Ben, the adult that he is, was carrying the dead chicken telling me his plans to bury it and I being the witness of chicken brutality, ran to the shed and slammed the door shut. I had made up my mind that I was never eating chicken again.
Carnivorous, treacherous, evil chickens!
Ben returned and asked me to put the TV on and get my mind off the event. So I flicked through the movies I had saved on Austar and settled for Sex and the City 2. Frivolity and fashion worked it’s charm until Ben asked me me to help choose a tree so that we could plant a tree over the burial plot. The burial plot was located in the chicken pen. I explained to Ben that I hadn’t forgiven our chickens yet and that I was considering becoming a vegetarian again (the reason for becoming vegetarian the first time round is a story best left for another blog post). Ben explained that what just happened was a natural part of life and told me not to make any rash decisions. I told him that I understood that, but I wasn’t sure my upset stomach did.
But in my heart of hearts, I know that Ben is right. Nature isn’t always kind. It can be brutal and unforgiving. Wishing it to be different isn’t going to change it. The ways of the world were here long before me and it will be here long after I am gone.
So it’s been two hours since the ordeal and the Sex and the City movie worked its magic, bringing me to a calmer and more docile state.
But I still have a conundrum: to eat or not to each chicken and meat, that is the question.