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鶏をさばいて感じたことー人間の残忍性についてー

「廃鶏がいるんだけどね、、、よかったら一緒にどう?」
トモエ幼稚園の友人にお誘いしてもらって、私たち2度目の鶏捌きをしてきた。

一回目は去年(だったかな?)。極寒の中、右も左もわからなくて、孝介が「事件?!」と思うほどの血しぶきまみれになっていたのには、それはそれは驚いた。何事も経験というけれど、一度やっていたから、それがどれ程のものか?今回は色々心して望むことができた。

「5歳だし、もう大丈夫かな?どうかな?」
ちょっと躊躇気味に朝、子どもたちに「行く?」と聞いてみると有無を言わさず行くという。
友達と遊べると思ったからか?単純に興味があったからか?真意はわからないけど、結果的には連れて行ってよかった。

隣町まで、鶏さんたちをお出迎えに。北海道もようやくこの気持ちいい青空が広がる季節がやってきました。

大体2歳ぐらいの、卵の産みが悪くなってきたこの子たちが今回の私たちの担当だ。

「あ!あったよ!」

それでも、鶏舎の中を探せば、卵。産む気もあれば、体も元気な鶏さんたちだ。

農場の方曰く、鶏の寿命は5年から10年くらいで、普通に売られている鶏肉は生後50日ぐらいで出荷されたものなのだそう。ケンタッキーはさらに早くて30日前後だとか。

「そりゃ、美味しいわけですよね〜」と。

生後、、、なんて表現で捉えると、出産経験のある私はどうしても切なくなってしまうのだった。

この小屋にいる鶏たちを一羽一羽捕まえて、頚動脈に沿ってナイフを入れていく。その後、逆さまにして血抜きをするわけなんだけど、このナイフの入れ方がうまくいかないと、鶏は当たり前に苦しくなり暴れる。前回、孝介がメガネまで血しぶきを浴びていたのはこのためだった。

2回目ということもあり、手慣れた孝介。サクサクと流れ作業のように殺めていく。足回りは汚れたものの、流石に今回は上半身は綺麗なままだった。

「前回は下手くそだったってことが、よくわかったよ」

この一瞬をできるだけ楽に逝かせてあげることが、人間から鶏たちへのせめてもの礼儀なのかもしれないと思った。

鶏小屋で「けっこっこーーー!けっこっこーーーあっこたーい!(鶏を抱っこしたい!)」といって追いかけ回していた一歳のムスヒ。

あたしの腕の中で、絞められる様子を遠くから見ていて、ふと力ない声で

「けっこっこーーー、たったったーーー」と呟いた。

ふと見ると目に涙をたくさん貯めてその様子をしっかりと見つめていた。そして、ぎゅーっと、私にしがみついてきた。

「コケコッコ、しんじゃったね。とりさんね、おにくになってくれるんだよ?ありがとうだね。」

今にも泣き出しそうなムスヒの目を見て必死に伝えた。まだ、一歳だしわかんないかな?なんて思っていたのは、母だけだったようだ。

その場にいた大人たちよりも、誰よりもその命の果てる行く末をしっかりと感じていたように思えた。

さっきまでそこで歩いていた命が、こうして動かなくなって横たわっている。しかも、その全てが、わたしたち人間の都合、人間のタイミングで。

なんて不条理なんだろう。

でも私は、私たち人間の命も、こうした不条理の中に、ある日突然失われることを知っている。例えば、震災がそうだ。

作為的であろうが

無作為であろうが

震災だろうが

人災だろうな が

突然であろうがなかろうが

命はいつか果てるもの

そんなのは綺麗事だ!ヴィーガンになればいいじゃないか?!という意見もあるかもしれないが、この様子を見たからといって、私が肉をやめることはきっとない。お肉を食べることは好きだし、そこは自分に素直にありたいと思うから、今後も食べ続けるだろう。

もっといえば、私1人が肉をやめたらどうなる?という問題でもないと、個人的には思っている。

殺し、殺され

食べ、食べられ

生き、生かされている

これが自然の摂理であり、他の命を頂いて生きている私は、この落とし所のない気持ちこそ亡きものにしてはいけないのではないか?

羽は、75度ほどのお湯で1分ほど湯がけば取れやすくなる。毛穴が開いてポロポロと取れてくるのだ。しかしながら、みんなでとはいえ、47羽全ての羽を一本残らず取るのは至難の業で、終わる頃には、腕と手の指の筋肉が痙攣一本手前だった。

大人が必死で鶏と格闘している間、子どもたちはその様子みにきてみたり、我関せずと遊んでいたり。想い想いに過ごしていた。

日が暮れて、私たちの体も冷えきった頃、ようやく丸鶏の状態となった彼らも冷たくなっていた。

食のトレーサビリティとか、食育とか、命の現場はそんな言葉では表現しきれない。

もしかしたら、自分の中の残虐さや、残忍さと向き合うということなのかもしれない。

決して心地いいとか、楽しいとかという体験ではないけど、この感覚は決して忘れたくない。

家に帰り、子どもたちを寝かした後、夫婦で我が家の担当分8羽を解体をした。

コレは胸

コレはササミ

モモはスモークチキン用に

砂肝とハツは焼き鳥用

ガラはスープストック用に冷凍庫へ

油は煮出して、鶏油に

できるだけ、余すところなく、捨てないように。きっとスーパーで買ってきたものでは、ありえないほど丁寧に仕分けた仕込みをした。

気づけば、朝9時から始まった鶏たちとの1日は、午前2時半を過ぎていた。

翌日、用意していた胸肉をカツにして頂いた。いつも食べているものよりも、歯ごたえがあり、噛めば噛むほど味わいが広がる。

それは、単純においしい肉だったからという事もあるかもしれないけど

それよりも、私の中の「人間性」とやらが反応して、そう感じさせているようにも思えた。

「おいしい?」と聞くと

「しーーーー」と1歳児

「これね、昨日捌いた鳥さんだよ」

と5歳児にいうと

「え。知らなかった、おいしいね」という

これでいいのだと思う。

鶏の命を通して、私たち人間がなんたるか?を学ばせてもらったように思う。

ありがとう。

感謝して、いただきます。

最後に、これを読んでくれているみなさんへ。なかなかそんな機会に恵まれることはないかもしれないけど、興味があり、機会に恵まれたら、ぜひトライしてみてほしいと思う。(北海道の人は、紹介もできるかもしれないので、興味があったら声をかけてくださいね)

鶏じゃなくて、大きな鮭のような魚や、ブロックのお肉でもいいのかもしれない?

いずれにしても、その時に湧き上がる、自分の中の人間としての感情を注意深く感じてみてほしい。無視したり、不感症になったりせず見つめてほしいと思うのだ。そこには、きっと新しい発見があるはずだから。

鶏をさばいて感じたことー人間の残忍性についてー” に184件のコメントがあります

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