With my full surprise, Fintan made the official decision to execute Fiona.
“We have to” he said bravely.
Fiona is not a neighbour nor a cousin. Along with Gypsy Valerie, she is one of our friendliest chickens. Unlike all the others, Camila has always been able to easily pick her up and smother with her clumsy cuddles.
I think that is because Fiona was handled a lot since she was little when she and Gypsy Valerie would fly over the fence onto the neighbour’s garden and we had to fetch them all the times. Or perhaps because, prior to that, we rescued her from the attacks of the black chickens in Sir Gustavo’s corral when we first got her, and safely re-homed her in Gypsy Valerie’s one and that might have given her a trusting instinct towards us.
But really, I think, lately the reason why Fiona was easily cuddle-able it’s because she got real fat and started limping so she couldn’t easily ran away from the over enthusiastic Camila gropes.
And then, for the same reasons, she became the bullying target of the mama of those gifted chicks Fintan brought home a while ago. She is a bitch and aggressively, almost in a anti-fat nazi way, would jump on her and pick at her morbid flesh. And she was too much of everything to defend herself.
It was a tough decision for Fintan who grew a particular affection towards her. His sensitiveness in dealing with Fiona made me look like the honey badger !
Lions eat gazelles, humans eat chickens. That’s how it has always been in my world. Even naming the chickens didn’t humanise them enough to make my heart shrink at the thought of having to sacrifice Fiona.
And so I became by default the chosen one to hold her feet and wings while Carmen would cut her throat. I did send her love whilst this was taking place. But didn’t feel sorrow.
It was all very quick and soon after, Fiona lied naked in a bath of spiced water, with floating bits of carrots, onions, herbs and a few bay leaves, ready to be turned into soup.
After days of Camila surviving on mango and milk alone, with multiple failures in expanding her variety of food intake, I was very surprised that, once Fiona was nicely cooked and the broth she was floating in was oozing the glory of its flavours, Camila showed interest.
I managed to slice off a piece of her abundant breast while still hot in the pot, and offered Camila a piece. She touched it and squeezed it between her fingers, she ascertained that it was very hot (ohhh it’s hot! she said), blew on it and ate it. And asked for more, and then more again. And again. Until she ate quite a big portion of it according to her standards.
Camila ate Fiona.
Obviously this arose the thus far underestimated requirement of explaining to her, at some point, why we eat animals. Which I think I’ll find harder than explaining to her how babies get into mothers’ bellies.
It will be harder because I’ll have to rationalise the unrationalisable concept of an exception to the rule of morality. Diversion of love. Fiona can be eaten but Luigi (our cat) can’t. And nor can T-man (our dog). The existence of a hierarchy in the animal world. Some are more worthy of love than others. Fiona was just a commodity.
Having been raised in an environment where traditions ruled, things were done because they were always been done that way, I soon begun to rebel against the plasticity of that approach and its meek senseless compliance. When begun to engage my brain in independent reasoning, I controversially provoked and challenged those views and facts.
Even in cooking I found Italy being stuck in a box, choking on its glorious reputation of culinary excellence I always found that, in my family and in general, its strict classical approach led to a lack of daring with ingredients. And how annoying the austerity of the critiques of anything that isn’t just like mama used to make!!
The liberating feeling of living outside of the box, made that need of questioning an imperative in raising my child. Probably the only thing I am sure about in this unsure motherhood path I am on: I aim to teach Camila to use her logic and challenge what is put in front of her in order to breed conscientious awareness in all that she does and says and thinks (I am sure there will be moments in the near future when I wish I didn’t and hope she just did what she is told…).
I have never been a huge meat eater, but ever since Camila was born, I grew less and less fond of meat and my diet is currently pretty much vegetarian. But it’s ingrained in me that meat is good for you so I chose to propose it to her until she will be able to choose.
So right now, with Gypsy Valerie cooking as I type, I admitted defeat and decided to stick to the rudimentary and consolatory fact that lions eat gazelles and humans eat chickens.