Saturday, May 14, 2011

To Eat, Or Not To Eat...

The circle of seems pretty sad this weekend. A carton full of chicks arrived a few days ago, all sweet and fluffy and peeping. (Yes, they're meat birds, but I still think they are darling...for now... is that warped?) Anyway, Eli is totally a red-blooded meat eater, as is Justin, both very matter-of-fact about it all. I've always felt a little bad, but you know, if I feel like it lived a good life, died humanly, and isn't pumped full of chemicals, I'm OK with meat. But Ira, at three, is a vegetarian through and through. He randomly burst into tears in the car yesterday, and said: "I'll never eat the chicks! No! Not in FOREVER!" It's such a delicate subject, telling him he doesn't have to eat them, of course, if he feels that way, but gently letting him know that somebody else certainly will.

Apparently, when you order day-old chicks in bulk, you tend to get a few defective ones, which has shockingly never happened to us before this batch. We've had an adult chicken break a leg once, and she still lived happily in the coop, with room service delivering her meals daily, but never had to deal with something happening to a cute, baby chick. One with a neck deformity died this afternoon, and another really, really, small, weak one is still breathing, but won't possibly last the night. I keep wondering if I should put it out of it's misery, but I just can't do it.

I feel awful for Ira...home and the things that go on here are his whole world. Eli has friends, school, lessons, hobbies and big kid things that occupy a lot of his brain, but Ira's EVERYTHING centers around his house and pets. He's sat and watched those chicks non-stop since they got here. And now tomorrow we'll shed some more tears as we bury a couple of them, nestled in the toy pirate chest he picked out this evening...and eat the rest with stuffing in twelve weeks.

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