Killing animals to eat isn't very pretty, but its a gruesome way the way we do it to make that lovely chicken chop with blackpepper sauce that you're having. Michael Ruhlman went inside the Schmidt Family farms and was shown how the chickens you eat are killed, bled, de-feathered and processed before they hit the market.
Schmidt Family Farms actually specializes in honey but allocates a certain part of the farm to be run by Bradley Cramer, who raises chickens during the summer. The chickens are fed into a funnel where they are killed. To kill the chicken, you punch the craw and windpipe, slide a knife vertically through the neck behind them and turn the knife 90 degrees and cut the main arteries and let them bleed out.
They are then put into a pot of 140 degree water to loosen the feathers and fed into a defeathering machine. The head, leg and innards are removed and the birds are tossed into a bucket of 40 degree water before they are packaged and shipped out. There's a video of it below, but don't watch it if you have the faint of heart. [Ruhlman via LA Times Food]