The Worst Of It

Is that the chicken is still in my fridge, untouched after Dennis packed it in tin foil for me to drive home, a week and a half ago.

“Oh gosh,” I said to Paige tonight. “Uh, how long does chicken stay good in the fridge, anyway?”

“A couple days?” she responded.

Throwing this chicken away is maybe the most morally abhorrent thing I will do. The idea of seeing its body: this creature I nurtured for a day, apologized to over and over in my head, whose warm feathers I felt and whose insides I washed from my hands — this, in the trash? With coffee grounds, cheese wrappers, crumpled chip bags? I can’t even think of it. It’s ridiculously terrible. World, I am so sorry.

I’d thought once I killed an animal, eating it would be easy — the reward, a final intimacy, even, a thanksgiving. I felt we had done everything respectfully and as kindly as we could. Afterwards we soaked them in brine and rubbed them with spices. But then — I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t deal with any of the aftermath. Every day, I put off eating that chicken.

In the end, it had nothing to do with ethics.

World, I am so sorry.

Image by Dennis.

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3 Comments

  1. i think this had everything to do with ethics, but that ethics is something much fuller than the abstract arguments it’s often reduced to in the hands of philosophers and activists. i’m sorry your experiment didn’t turn out the way you’d hoped.

  2. I went to the grocery store tonight, the big, fancy, sexy Whole Foods with meat that should be OK to eat. I walked past the meat, especially the chicken, and thought it felt good to not have to worry about that. One week, no meat.

  3. Dude, I done told you! You wouldn’t want to eat it after you killed it. Which is precisely why I buy my meat already butchered and cleaned, ready to eat at the grocery store. The way it’s supposed to be in 2010. The way it tastes good. It is, after all, a food source and not just an ethical dilemma.

    And please, don’t throw it in the trash! Take it to the dumpster. That rotting carcass will stink to no end in our house.

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