"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Give Chickens Some Respect

Uncle Guido has absolutely no idea what is going on in the world when so many media people are jumping on the ‘Treat Chickens Like People’ bandwagon.  This is taking PC too far.  Enough already.  The verdict has been in on chickens for a long time.  They are dumb, pea-brained, insensitive, walking feathers, nothing more.  A respected New York Times opinion writer, Nicholas Kristof, whose articles I always read – but no more – has been taken in, duped, and sandbagged by the so-called ‘animal rights’ lobby.  Here is his ill-informed article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/12/opinion/kristof-is-an-egg-for-breakfast-worth-this.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

In some cases, 11 hens were jammed into a cage about 2 feet by 2 feet. The Humane Society says that that is even more cramped than the egg industry’s own voluntary standards — which have been widely criticized as inadequate.

What is ‘inadequate’ about putting a mass of feathers and drumsticks into a small space? Chickens are not even aware they are alive let alone concerned that they are not in the Presidential Suite at the Ritz.  Besides, the ‘chickens’ that are in these processing plants are barely chickens.  They have been genetically bred so that they are all breast and no dark meat, which means they cannot stand up to hold their weight and they need to be squished together to be upright. 

An automatic feeding cart that runs between the cages sometimes decapitates hens as they’re eating, the investigator said. Corpses are pulled out if they’re easy to see, but sometimes remain for weeks in the cages, piling up until they have rotted into the wiring, he added.

Decapitating chickens as their eating is a great idea.  Assuming – a big if – a chicken likes to eat, or is at least satisfied by this act, then it dies happy; which is something we all would like.  Not to see the bus coming.  As far as piling up into the wiring, it depends on what kind of wiring.  Many plants have electrified the wiring so when the decapitated chicken flops around on to it, they turn on the juice and grill the sucker right then and there – juicy, fresh fingerlings for the underpaid staff.

Like many readers, I don’t particularly empathize with chickens. It’s their misfortune that they lack big eyes.

This inane comment by Kristof actually has a basis in fact.  A large chicken processor on the Eastern Shore of Maryland has done genetic engineering to produce huge eyes and gigantic feet on chickens.  They eyes are for curb appeal to throw off the egg-huggers, and the feet are to satisfy the insatiable Chinese market.  Think dim-sum and boiled chicken feet in spicy sauce.  You gagged, but the Chinese can’t get enough of them.

I found our pigs to be razor smart, while our geese mated for life and our sheep and cattle had distinct personalities. The chickens were the least individualistic of the animals we raised.

God himself said that Man should have dominion over the animals; but this asshole has to go on this anthropomorphic bender.  Animals have to have human characteristics for him to give a damn about their decapitation; and he wishes chickens had big, appealing eyes, or maybe be a little smarter.  Bullshit.  If they were smarter (which isn’t asking for much), he would be on his high horse about the more serious crime of killing more sentient beings.  The smarter the animal up the phylogenetic scale, the worse the offence, which is why a lot of people protest at frying death row inmates.

Industrial operations like Kreider are dazzlingly efficient at producing cheap eggs, so they save consumers money. Still, I flinch at a system in which hens are reduced to widgets.

Give me a break.  Hens are less than widgets.  To quote the Bible again (I just spent two months in the Deep South so I want to practice what I learned), a sparrow doesn’t fall from the sky without God knowing about it; but if you will check your scriptures, there is nothing there about chickens because they are so insignificantly low on even God’s scale that he forgot that on the Thursday before his creative week was over, he accidently made chickens.

For those who are wavering, think for a moment about the arc of empathy. Centuries ago, we humans amused ourselves by seeing other people executed or tortured. Until modern times, we considered it sport to see animals die horrible deaths. Now our sensibilities have evolved so that there is an outcry when animals are abused — unless it happens out of sight on farms.

OMG! This guy has been totally brainwashed by the Fur-and-Feather crowd.  “The arc of empathy'” ?? He has gone around the bend.  He usually writes about Santorum and his pea-brained fundamentalist platitudes, and he should stick to good political writing.  The Republican candidates are, after all, smarter than chickens, but obviously not by a whole hell of a lot, so go after them.

The police would stop wayward boys who were torturing a stray dog, so should we allow industrialists to abuse millions of hens?

Wow, did the Huggers ever get to him!  Industrialists (read fat cat one-percenter predatory capitalists) abusing millions of hens?? When you take antibiotics and kill millions of intestinal pathogens, should you feel remorse?  Remember what we’re talking about here.  For the now very, very overused term ‘abuse’ to have any meaning whatsoever, the so-called abusee has to have some awareness of morality, justice, fairness, ethics.  What should we do with five-year-old boys who whack ant colonies until the ants come streaming out then step on them and kill thousands at one fell swoop?  Chickens are about thighs, drumsticks, and feet (at least for the Chinese); and other than that they are nothing more than bobbing, twitching and clucking piles of feathers.  Get over it.

Granted, it is not easy to settle on what constitutes cruelty to animals. But cramming 11 hens for most of their lives into a cage the size of an oven seems to cross a line.

Not only will I stop reading this impressionable PC airhead, I am cancelling my subscription to the New York Times.

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