What It's Like to Kill Your Own Turkey

At some farms, you can see firsthand where your meat comes from
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2010 3:22 PM CST
What It's Like to Kill Your Own Turkey
A turkey sporting a red fatty wattle hanging from its beak appears among others at Out Post Farm, in Holliston, Mass., Monday, Nov. 8, 2010.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Ariel Kaminer recently enjoyed the most flavorful turkey she’s ever eaten. And maybe this is why: She slaughtered it herself. Kaminer visited Madani Halal, a family-run slaughterhouse in Queens that is among the “small but significant number of farms” that allow customers to get truly up-close-and-personal with their meat. “It’s all part of the broader cultural effort to escape the climate-controlled, linoleum-lined artificiality of supermarket shopping, in which meat magically appears all ready for your oven and animals are characters in children’s storybooks,” Kaminer writes in the New York Times.

Kaminer describes how the turkey was placed upside down in an inverted cone, out of view of the other birds; how she—with help—slit the bird’s throat with a knife; how the turkey roused for one last “bout of flapping” before coming to rest. “I didn’t feel brave. I didn’t feel idealistic. I felt crummy,” Kaminer writes (though that obviously didn’t stop her from eating the heritage Bourbon Red). “For those carnivores who are truly at one with the world, killing your own meat might feel almost like a spiritual act, a way to participate in every step of the life cycle. That’s not how it went for me. I found it upsetting and, on some very basic level, gross.”
(Read more turkey stories.)

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