On June 1st, Slow Food LA sent out an invitation to a workshop. In the subject line read: Face Your Food – Poultry Processing Workshop.
Later that week a small crowd gathered at Barley’s Farm in La Habra Heights. They were there to learn how to humanely kill, de-feather, and process a chicken.
“I’m nervous, we might go home with a pet chicken today,” Kamela Smith said with a laugh. Smith came with her partner Kieran, and like others in attendance they were there to feel more connected to their food.
The hands-on workshop was led by micro-farmer and master food preserver Jollen Gibbs who expertly guided the group through the process.
After the workshop Kieran said he felt honored to eat his chicken. “There are very few instances where we come face to face with the fact that this [eating] is life or death,” he said, “and it also makes us face our own mortality – that we at some point have life expire from us too.”
After an emotional moment Kamela decided to continue to eat meat. “I think I’ll just have a lot more respect for it,” she says, “and I’ll care a lot more about where I get it from.”
*Independent producer Shara Morris contributed audio for this story.