The four table cockerels have only a week to live. That's harsh! But it's the reality. I can't help feeling sorry and wanting to give them a little extra quality-of-life for this last week.
We're a weird species... We breed animals that probably wouldn't exist in the wild, and we look after them as kindly as we can, then suddenly we kill them. When it comes to doing the deed, I always feel like a murderer.
But while turning pets into meat is weird, I believe factory farming — where the chickens are seen as meat even while alive — is weirder. Worst of all is viewing the population that eats the meat as another form of fodder (profit). How else to explain the sometimes-dangerous chemicals that end up in our food chain?
Unfortunately agricultural chemical companies are too far ahead of regulations. You can't regulate against a chemical unless you have definitive research showing its links to problems in the human population. That can take decades, especially if regulatory bodies are still working on a backlog of hazardous chemicals.
All of which means that while meat is murder, it's better than slow poisoning.
Once the cockerels are dead, it just becomes a simple process of turning a carcass into attractive food, something that begins in the backyard and ends, days later, on a plate. By the time that happens, I've stopped feeling remorseful, and started feeling almost... well, proud. :-)