Roosting roosters + vegetarianism

March 10, 2014

chicks tampa

So, girlfriend & I were wandering around Tampa’s Ybor City in January, heading for a movie, when we came across these beauties.

chick looksThey were just pecking on some land. I can’t remember if it was commercial or residential, but there they were, in an urban setting, not particularly bothered by our presence.

I would’ve expected them in, say, Iowa. Or Nebraska. But Tampa, Fla.?

Of course, the last time I saw chickens they were in the backyard of our next door neighbors in Sunnyvale, Calif.

And then, the neighbors had a big barbecue.  We never saw the chickens again.

chick CUThe group seemed to include both roosters and hens, right? Any chicken experts here? I’m used to seeing my chicken in a package, so I’m a little unclear.

Maybe these were around for eggs only.  Then again, maybe not.  Maybe they were around for dinner. And I don’t mean as guests.

chicks cropped The problem with eating animals is always having to see them outright, before they’re prepared for cooking. As in, they’re still clucking and pecking in the yard.

I’ve never pretended to be a great frontier wife.  And when I saw these, I knew for sure I wasn’t cut out for farm life.

I don’t eat a lot of meat, but I do eat a lot of chicken.

Lately, though, I’m finding it harder than ever to swallow.

Literally and figuratively.

It was a lot easier to eat in our parents’ day, when these things were never considered.

Are you a vegetarian? How did you get there?

18 comments on “Roosting roosters + vegetarianism
  1. Jennifer Steck says:

    I’m a meat lover, Carol, so I’ll never be a vegetarian. I’d love to have chickens, but only for the eggs. There is no way I could eat them if I’d actually had them as pets. And…they would end up as pets.

  2. Karen says:

    I’m not a vegetarian, but I do think carefully about the meat I buy–I try to get locally raised meats, rather than those from factory farms. As a local farmer once told me, “My chickens have a great life. And then they have one very bad moment.”
    Buying local means buying less meat, which I think is generally a good thing, both for health and for the local economy.
    Oh–and in my fridge at the moment is a carton of eggs from my friend whose urban chickens have been going a little nuts lately. It’s not strictly legal to own chickens here, but if you have cooperative neighbours (who might be willing to accept payoffs in the form of fresh eggs) it can be done. 🙂

  3. Lisa Froman says:

    I am definitely a meat eater and tend to need lots of protein. But I do know what you mean….sometimes, I just don’t feel great about eating meat or chicken, etc.

    • admin says:

      I’ve lost my taste for it most of the time. I may eat animals a couple times a week and that’s all. Less and less.

  4. Helen Knight says:

    Ybor City has had chickens for a long time. Think the original cigar workers kept them and the city just grandfathered the practice in. There have been several news stories about chicken-keeping in the city limits. Pros and cons. I’m in favor of it as long as the chickens are protected from predators. I was surprised the first time I tasted a fresh egg taken recently from a neighbor hen (there’s a farmer next to our house in NC). Stronger “egg” taste. I’m with you on seeing animals in their live state. I couldn’t do it if I had to butcher them.

  5. I hear you. I know how hypocritical I am because I can’t give up meat even though I am a huge animal lover. My daughter became a vegetarian recently and I’m so proud of her for sticking to her beliefs. I can tell you that one Thanksgiving, the turkey was sitting in the pan looking so turkey-like, I ended up only having side dishes for dinner. It’s definitely something I struggle with.

    • admin says:

      I comfort myself with the fact that I only tolerate meat a couple times a week. But I see myself heading toward full out veg at some point.

  6. I eat very little meat and mostly chicken Carol. I don’t like to focus on where it comes from. I must admit, ignorance is bliss otherwise, I too have a hard time.

  7. Marilyn Wolf says:

    I’ve never eaten much meat but now don’t eat it at all. After we moved to Tampa bay I joined a vegan dinner group. They invited some interesting speakers. The night I heard Howard Lyman changed my life. I read his book and started researching the links in the book and his website. Each link, lead me to another and another. The more research I did, the more disgusting the information became. I bought books and DVDs and finished them all. Because of the environmental contamination, animal welfare, slaughterhouse treatment (of animals and employees), ethics, economics & lobbying, species cross contamination, and more I won’t eat meat.

    Ideally, I prefer to be vegan: no meat, dairy, fish, or eggs. It’s much easier than I thought it would be. I really like the taste of cheese; that’s my downfall. However, I am aware of the hormones and bovine treatment with every bite. I’m also aware of the effects of meat in my dogs’ food every time I serve them.

  8. Seeing the deer and the turkeys in our yard has NOT put me off meat.
    I don’t want to kill them myself, for sure.
    But since my husband hunts, and a processor packages the meat for us, I very much enjoy wild game. They’ve lived a very happy life.

  9. Diane says:

    Total farm girl here. We ate our pets regularly. I should probably add that we drew the line at actual ‘pets’ . . .

    • admin says:

      So glad Fido didn’t appear on your plate! I think farmers have a different orientation about livestock and food.

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