Years ago I was a vegetarian, and a member of PETA.  For three years I ate no meat, and supplemented my diet in numerous ways, as many vegans do, in order to spare the poor creatures from the slaughter. 

Well, needless to say, I got over it.  Gimme a good steak and some A1 and I’m ready to go.  Oh, I still enjoy a good pita with horseradish cheddar, hummus, sprouts, lettuce, mustard, peppers (making myself hungry here).  In fact, perhaps the best thing about being a vegetarian was the forced exposure to varied cuisines, and my acquisition of some *ahem* refined tastes.  As a result I currently eat a varied diet of fresh foods from all groups and mainly try to stay away from preservatives as much as sanely possible.  And I do shy away from the fast food.  The only time Norm & I eat out is for Chinese food every couple of weeks, and most of what I eat there is veggies and chicken.  But overall we eat very healthily by any standard. 

I give you this background so that you won’t think I’m an uninformed jackass when I say this: some of you people have got to get a GRIP.  It’s bad enough that we have pet food imported from China that kills our pets (not mine, thankfully, but still . . .).  It’s offensive that transportation costs have driven up my grocery bill by 35% in the past 6 months.  It’s downright scary that we have to worry about “mad cow” and “avian flu” and tainted peanut butter and bad canned stew, etc, etc. 

But today I saw this ad on Alternet:


This a beyond zealous.  It’s downright cuckoo.  What’s next?  McDonald’s having to pipe soothing music into their soybean fields so the beans don’t get depressed?  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all against animal cruelty, but these are birds we’re talking about.  With a brain the size of a pea.  I just can’t bring myself to feel badly if they are in cramped quarters.  If they don’t like it, fry ’em up and see how they like that. 

Seems like I’ve come a long way from animal rights activist, eh?  That’s because I have.  I love animals, as Norm can certainly tell you (and he’d not be with me if I didn’t).  But I’ve learned that if I’m going to get worked up over creatures being confined to cramped quarters, I’m going to worry about humans first.  Like the children huddled over looms in India, forced to work to pay off their families loans. 

When we start treating all people like people, then I’ll feel bad for the chickens.


6 thoughts on “Perspective

  1. Cramped quarters are one thing, but there are situations where the quarters are so cramped that beaks are severely cut (so that they can’t peck at each other) and the birds eventually become fused to their cages. This is pretty unpleasant. Perhaps the ad could be a little more specific.

  2. I’m confused and I’m conflicted.

    Weren’t you the one upset over the killing of wild horses for food (to be sent overseas)? I know horses are far from chickens, but they still aren’t people.

    I have no remorse over the death of a chicken. A chicken is a chicken. But if what Gunn says is true, that seems so awful for any creature to endure, no matter how close or far to humans they are. Then again, how sentient are chickens? The ad clearly plays upon the idea of “How would you feel” but that argument could easily be used (as you noted) to the extreme. Do we start at chickens or stop at chickens? What about fish? rats? cockroaches? bedbugs?

    Would I stop buying eggs (if I actually grocery shopped)? Probably not.

  3. Gunn–well I didn’t know it was that bad, but I just can’t get worked up over chickens.

    Weren’t you the one upset over the killing of wild horses for food (to be sent overseas)? I know horses are far from chickens, but they still aren’t people.

    No, but then again no chicken has ever led me out of the forest when I was too lost to find my way home, either. And, again, we don’t eat horses. But eggs and chicken are as American as food can get.

    I dunno. I’ve killed, defeathered, and cooked my own chickens before, and once you’ve taken the axe to them it’s hard to see them as anything but future meals. Horses just don’t compare. They’re more like dogs. Each horse has its own individual personality, and owners learn to read their horses’ attitudes. Try that with a chicken.

  4. I should add: I certainly don’t see anything wrong with buying your eggs selectively if you wish to send a message about the cruelty to chickens. I just wish more people would be as active in advocating for human rights as animal rights. that’s all.

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