Slaughterhouse 4120

Wilderness Biology students get closer to their food


Photo by Evan McHenry

Evan McHenry, Copy

Most Americans, statistically speaking, are meat-eaters, but the majority of them will never come close to the processes that prepare their food. “I tried to break down that barrier,” says faculty member Eric Nelson, who is teaching Wilderness Biology this semester. Last Tuesday, Nelson hosted an optional chicken-harvesting event outside of school; there, if the students wanted to, they had the opportunity to help slaughter and process chickens. 

“By slaughtering the chickens yourself, you really get to know your food,” says senior Brayden Shumaker. It was a hands-on—or hands-in—experience for the students, with some reaching into the cavities of the slaughtered chickens to remove viscera. Shumaker was one of the students who opted to actually slaughter the chickens himself. As an upside, “You get to know they were raised and killed humanely, unlike factory chickens,” says Shumaker. “You also get fresher and tastier meat.” 

The event was certainly unique, and for most of the students who chose to attend, it was a new experience as well. Nelson adds, “The goal [of Wilderness Biology] has been to expand the horizons of the kids in the class… to take them out of their comfort zones, and to have some fun.”