There's a lot of background to this, so I'll try and make it short. For those of you who don't know, I was vegetarian for about 13 years, vegan for 7 or so and now although mostly vegan, I do dabble in some raw organic butter, cheese and sometimes my wonderful, fresh, chicken eggs! I became vegetarian many years ago when I heard about the modern meat industry, factory farming and the inhumane conditions in which animals were and are raised in. So, I stopped eating meat for ethical reasons, then it became for health and even environmental reasons (again in response to the factory farming, not the small time rancher or homesteader). I have nothing against people eating meat in general. It's mostly about what meat people eat and how the animals are raised and the deplorable conditions in which most animals live their short existence.
So, here is the making of my dilemma.
Part 1. My dogs eat meat. And, I'm now having to buy factory farmed meat at the grocery store for them because I certainly can't afford to feed 3 dogs on Southern California's "Whole Foods Market" organic meat prices. I don't know anyone in the desert who raises many animals except a friend who does raise sheep but even that is too expensive as she has to buy all the hay and grain since there is no pasture in the desert. I did feed them her meat for a while, but with a third dog now, it's too expensive. I'm not going to buy commercial dog food as I think the quality is illness producing for dogs over time.
Part 2. I want to hatch some chickens to have some more layers and have the experience of watching chicks grow.
Now I get to the heart of my dilemma... My chicks will consist of a lot of ROOSTERS! My mom grew up on a farm and said she would come up and "do the deed" when the roosters get to the age where they can be killed. Rationally, when I turn the feeler off, I say to myself that that would be a nice solution to the dog food problem - I could have more layers, feed my dogs organic, healthy meat that came from "happy chickens" and even give or sell a few birds to friends around here. Then the feeler kicks in and I feel terrible and guilty. But, the rational side yells, "but you're doing it any way every time you buy meat from the supermarket and that's much worse!!". Obviously, I can't have my mom come up every time I want a rooster killed, ha ha. So, I'm having this ethical, spiritual, emotional dilemma! Can I do it? What would I feel like after I killed them? How attached would I become? How do you NOT get attached... or is that wrong - to detach? Is this okay? I guess this is what happens when you get a kid who grew up in the city loving every animal who came her way. Now, I'm seeing that life behind the scenes isn't so pretty and choices aren't so easy.
I would love your feedback regarding my confusion. I think it will really help me! Also, would love to hear the experiences of people who have gone through or go through this as part of their life. Thank you!