Since I don’t eat meat, it has taken until now for me to see exactly how a chicken gets killed in China. At least in Hainan, which is famous for chicken. Unlike the west, you don’t go to the market and buy the dead meat already placed in a styrofoam tray or in a plastic bag. Instead, the market has live chickens.
Once you select a chicken, the chicken gets weighed and you can pay money to buy the chicken. If you pay a little more, they will kill the chicken for you. My friends didn’t want to buy a live chicken, since they wanted to eat it. The place to kill chickens was not in sight of the living chickens – it was around the corner. But the killing process did not seem particularly humane. They did not cut off the chicken’s head to kill it. Instead, there was a furnace, with a pot of scalding water on top.
- The live chicken was thrown into the furnace, presumably to suffocate it to death.
- After the chicken stopped making noises signaling its displeasure with being inside such a smoky, hot place, the chicken killer took the chicken out of the furnace and dunked it into the pot of water on top.
- While the scalding water made some of the feathers come off, most of the feathers came off after the bath when it was put into a centrifuge. The leftover chicken feathers came out a slide on the bottom of the centrifuge unit.
- Only at this point did the chicken killer cut the neck and place the chicken into a plastic bag.
Now, given I have seen how chickens are killed (and beforehand the chickens eating feed resembling excrement), I am even less likely to want to eat some. Especially since I have successfully used buffalo wing sauce with tofu.