Indian Runners are egg laying ducks who are not made for the cold. When we purchased them both Joel and I knew they would not be lasting through the winter, but we both found ourselves so taken with them that even as the days grew shorter we found ourselves hesitant to slaughter them. The Indian Runners are beautiful ducks. Ours were a buff and white color and they were fast, nervous, and camera shy. The ducks stuck together and because of their similar coloring it was near to impossible to tell them apart. The females are shorter and have louder voices, but that was really the only way to tell them apart.
Yesterday it snowed and we knew the ducks were approaching their final days. This morning Joel and I took care of the six remaining ducks. I still refuse to do any of the messy parts. I plucked feathers and hauled hot water and brought in ducks from their pen and cried. Even though I know the cold temperatures of January and February would have killed them I still felt like a betrayer as I brought each duck up to Joel, with their feet cupped in my hands to keep them warm and their heads tucked into my elbow crook.
With each duck, we say goodnight, and we say thank you. It is not with callousness or with ease that either of us do this deed.
I am upset and worried by the disconnect between people and the food we eat. I know I, out of respect,will never eat another glossy shrink wrapped piece of meat from the supermarket.
It is upsetting to have the blood of these animals on my hands, but I feel strongly, that it is the only way that it is honest.