I was watching a documentary, Nat Geo Wild recently, about cheetahs, and was intrigued by the fact that there's a stage in a cheetah's life when its mother would teach it how to hunt. The process includes capturing the prey, of course, but would eventually lead to the killing for food. It is in fact a survival skill.
Eons ago, I bet humans had to hunt and kill to survive too. It's an instinct that must be developed and honed in almost every single human. But times have changed; now not all of us humans actually know how to hunt, let alone kill when and if we've caught whatever it is that we hunt. Most of us would rely on others to do it for us, and we just deal with the dead animals. Or rather, parts of the animals.
A facebook friend shared her experience recently on how her mom bought her a whole chicken—a dead one, of course—and she seemed to have had quite an experience learning how to cut up the numerous body parts of the chicken. I found her post quite amusing, and in my mind, I was saying, "Wait till you have to slaughter a live chicken; now that'd be an experience!"
Cutting up a dead animal for cooking is nothing like killing a live one. And I had my fair share of the latter as early as when I was just 10 or 11 years old. I can still remember the first time I had to slaughter a duck. As a little boy, it was quite a traumatic experience, to say the least. Although it has been many, many years since I was 10 years old, I still know a bit about slaughtering chickens or ducks; and so here I am to share with my readers.
You start by sharpening the knife. Then you proceed to pluck the feather around its neck to expose the skin. Between a chicken and a duck, let me tell you that the duck seems to have a thicker skin! I'm not sure if that's a fact, or if it's just my imagination because of my experience. You will have to hold the duck steady—for the inexperienced, it's a good idea to get someone to help out by grabbing the duck's feet and wings, so that you are free to deal specifically with its neck. However, if you are confident enough, you can also use your own feet by stepping onto the duck's feet and wings, so you can do it alone.
I said it was a traumatic experience for me, but it's not like what you might think. Frankly, I wasn't very scared to kill the duck. It seemed like a natural thing to do; and of course when you really think of it, it is a natural thing to do in the animal kingdom—just like the cheetahs killing other animals for food. But the thing that was traumatic to me was that although I cut the duck's throat, apparently I did not cut it deep enough. So you can imagine what happened next. When I released the duck, it ran off helter-skelter, blood oozing out of its throat and all, and I was frozen for a bit before I was able to shake myself out of the trance to chase after the duck!
You just have to take it from me; it's not so easy for a fat 10-year-old boy to chase after a zombie duck, especially if that zombie is ridiculously fast like the type you see in The Maze Runner series or Train to Busan. Thankfully, the difference in my story is that I was the one chasing after the zombie, not the other way round. Although I can't remember now, I wouldn't rule out the possibility that I was smiling to myself in bed that night, thinking about how I was chasing the zombie duck. Anyway, like all other skills in life, once you can get through that first time, subsequent chicken or duck slaughtering sessions would be very easy. No more chasing after zombies, that's for sure.
I know that many people are convinced they can never bring themselves to kill animals no matter what, but I'm quite sure that when it's a matter of life and death, they'd do it eventually for survival. There is always that killer instinct in us all that will be provoked to give itself reign to ensure that we'd continue living.