to butcher

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This summer Mad Ag and friends butchered 135 Delaware chickens to end a research project examining the benefits of insects in poultry feed. The birds thrived on the insect-based feed, but our excitement of this result was sidelined on this day by the intensity of butchering. Ending a life for food is hard. Exhausting. Grounding. Here, Emma’s hands are stained with blood. She is a vegetarian and wanted to get closer to life-death cycle. Thanks @meadowlarkfarmdinners@skivborealis @capn.clark@blackcatboulder @billyshaddox@marcuscurren and others for the help.

A few weeks ago I wrote a short poem reflecting on that day. 
We kill by living     though death
we hide     in warehouses
do it      in factories
push it    to the outermost    boundaries  of our lives
failing to realize what we take
is failing to acknowledge who we are: 
Products      of death
and decomposition     an immaculate tapestry of raw materials
resurrected    into song
We are better    at living
than dying naive
to how fertility works
What would we be if we knew how to die well? 
Healthcare, affordable
Exxon, long gone
Money, compost
Soil, fertile
Taking, balanced by giving