Friday, 22 October 2010

Guest Post - Day 5

 By Why Vegetarian?  GUEST BLOGGER

Vegetarian Encounters Live Chicken

So I was having my pre-dinner martini on the lawn and feeling that everything was just fine in the world, when I suddenly became aware of another presence nearby. I looked around and saw that not four feet away was a chicken.

I’m a city man through and through but I moved to a small village recently after promises of peace, tranquility and improved air quality. Nobody said anything about chickens.

As you can tell, I have no experience with these bizarre-looking beasts and my immediate thoughts were:

1. Should I be afraid?
2. Do they bite?
3. Where the hell did she come from?

My initial efforts to shoo her from the premises were met with undisguised contempt. I think she had her eye on my herb garden and began making her way down the path. I thought standing in the way might discourage her but she easily body-swerved me and continued regardless. Well, there were plenty herbs for everyone.

Once I realized I was in no immediate danger, I thought perhaps I should notify the hen’s guardian in case they were distraught by her absence. I toddled 300 yards (300 yards mind, this one’s a regular adventurer) along the winding dirt track that leads to my nearest neighbor.

Once inside the perimeter of my neighbor’s land, I saw several other feathered lookalikes and knew I was in the right place. I rang the doorbell and through the screen door I saw a small boy approach. He was the spitting image of how I expected Tom Sawyer might look, and for a moment I thought I’d travelled back in time.

“Hello!” I said. “Are you missing anyone?” He did a quick head count.

“Could be,” he said.

“Well, the guilty party’s enjoying my oregano. Is she allowed out at this time of day?”

“Oh yeah” he said, chewing on a piece of straw. (He wasn’t really, I just wanted to give you the full Mark Twain effect.)

“Ok. Well she’s not bothering me, but… is she lost?”

“No, she knows her way round here.”

“That’s alright then. If she makes her way into the pumpkin patch this late in the season we may need a search party, but other than that I guess we’re good.”

It was an interesting exchange. My mind was set at ease, but on my return journey it reset to unease. I’ve seen cats around my house and cats are the ultimate carnivores: they’re genetically programmed to hunt. Domestication and easy food have done nothing to quell that through subsequent generations. Would a cat go for a chicken? I have no idea. It was quite a big chicken.

I realized I was now feeling protective towards the little intruder and quickened my step. When I returned, she was deeply embedded in my Orange Mint and was clearly in seventh heaven. I sat back down to my martini and reminded myself that all was fine in the world after all. All the while I kept my eye open for cats.

In due course, the feathery one began to make her way back up the drive and I realized she was rather beautiful in her own freaky little way. How could anyone want to eat this?

But I guess this is the problem. If everyone saw chicken running around like any other bird, and not roasted and packed up for consumption, they’d never think of it. What we see in the supermarket is so divorced from reality, it removes from the consumer all sense of what a chicken actually is.

And what is it? A wild little beast that likes oregano and is best left alone.



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2 comments :

  1. Scared of a chicken? Guess Ill have to keep reading.. Love this site..

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Kimberly,

    Thanks for hosting the blog hop!

    Ron

    ReplyDelete

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