Monday, April 19, 2010

El Matador

Ever since reading Michael Pollan’s An Omnivore’s Dilemma, I have felt the need to take responsibility for my carnivorous habits by manning up and actually killing an animal to be eaten.

This past weekend, the host family of a couple friends had gathered several animals from their finca and brought them to El Paraiso to slaughter and invited all of us to participate. We managed to slaughter 3 chickens and 2 rabbits. The duck and final chicken got lucky. As you can imagine, a chicken is a lot easier to kill, emotionally at least. That’s how I found myself in front of the second rabbit. After seeing the eyes of first rabbits, and hearing it scream, no one else could do it. Since I had committed myself to participating, I had to do it.

I luckily got a sharper knife, so it was quicker, although you wouldn’t know it from movement of the rabbit. It was also messier than the first one. I personally didn’t get much blood on me beyond my hands, but my friend who was holding its back legs unfortunately did.

I have mixed feelings about it. It’s not an experience that I am looking to repeat anytime soon, but I am happy I did it. It gives you the full realization of what is involved in your dinner. I feel good that while it may not have lived a fully wild, happy life, it was life on a Honduran farm, which is nowhere near as bad as an American factory farm life.

As of writing this, I have not eaten the meat. I don’t know who will, but I do know that it will be eaten. I hope to be there as I would like to fully complete the cycle.


I got my chance to eat the rabbit. It was very delicious and topped with a very nice beer based sauce. I also got a chance to see the farm it came from. While the rabbits didn’t have as much freedom as the chickens, they definitely weren’t suffering.

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