I have seven too many roosters in my small flock. They have reached the age where they're making life miserable for the hens, so the time has come to begin eating them. I killed the first one this evening -- he is becoming tortilla soup.
It's been a while since I killed an animal. I feel sad about ending the rooster's young life, even though the soup smells delicious. Eating meat is something one has to accept if one raises chickens for eggs, or cows (or goats) for milk. There are always too many males, and you can't just turn them out into the streets.
When I lived at Altamira, I used an ax to kill chickens -- chop off the head in one swift blow. I used the "broomstick" method this evening, because I left the ax in San Antonio and don't trust my skills with a knife. The broomstick method (I actually used a wrecking bar) seems quite gentle, compared with the ax. The bird relaxed for a moment, then went into the usual death spasms. One can never say for sure, but I got the impression that it was a painless death. I've noticed, when I've been in accidents, I don't usually feel pain as the injury is taking place, only later. I would guess that death by guillotine or neck snapping is painless.
At least when I kill chickens myself, I know they had a very happy life up until the last moment, and that their deaths are quick. If I were to buy chicken meat from a store, I could be pretty sure that the bird had an unhappy life, and the last moments could have been really horrible.