Thursday, December 23, 2010

Letter to Shelly, or Why Chickens Are Not Animals

Dearest Shelly,

Thank you for your thoughtful comment re: Random List of Vital Facts. It has given me pause and allowed me to delve further into the deep psychosis that forms my barely-functioning mind. It was a scary journey, and I’ll spare you the gruesome details, but the following is my thesis on why I don’t want animals but do want chickens.

I agree that there seems to be a disconnect between a person wanting to raise hens and not wanting any animals in the family. But hens are not animals. They are livestock. And while some members of a family may resemble livestock, true livestock does not count as “family.”

For example, if I were herding cattle, which I occasionally feel compelled to do, I would herd them straight to the barn for milking or to the meat market for processing. I would not lavish adoration on them. I would not let them sleep in my bed. I would not buy special toys for them to rip apart, special bones for them to bury or special sweaters for them to wear. They are cows. Their job is to produce food for me and mine. And unless you are a fruitarian, I think you will understand. If you are a fruitarian, please do not comment on my blog since you’ll only make me giggle and my bladder is not always strong enough to take the abuse.

Now, to chickens. I have raised chickens before. They are stupid. Not in the “oh, isn’t that cute!” way, but in the “how do you manage to reproduce” way. Lots of stupid people manage to reproduce, as evidenced by the continuing popularity of Leonardo DiCaprio, but stupid animals don’t usually make it past the “predator bait” phase of evolution. Chickens, in spite of all the odds, not only made it far enough to reproduce once, but their sole purpose seems to be reproduction. This, as far as I’m concerned, is the main reason to have chickens.

The other reason is to scare off solicitors.

Chickens are mean, and when you unwittingly approach a door with your roofing samples or your gourmet meat products, they will charge at you and try to nest in your hair. They also poop a lot, which is good for getting rid of solicitors and good for my garden.

Now, Hal’s reasons for not wanting chickens are pretty lame, if you’ll excuse me for saying so. First, he’s convinced he will be expected to participate in the hen raising. I do not expect him to participate in the hen raising. I expect him to participate, solely and by himself, in the hen killing and plucking. I don’t think this is too much to ask, but apparently Hal doesn’t feel in touch with his Neanderthal man. I’m working on it.

The other reason Hal doesn’t want chickens is his fear that they will hurt him. They probably will. Not only are they mean and stupid, but they have no loyalty and will not hesitate to poop on dress clothes. I think this would be funny, but Hal doesn’t like Charlie Chaplin the way I do.

I feel better, lighter and more carefree. Because of Shelly’s insight and verbalization, I have grown as a human being. So, thank you, Shelly, and Merry Christmas to you.


Shelly said...

Can I say how much I miss you? You're awesome and this made my day....I, too, am petitioning for chickens in the backyard. Mostly because my kids are ovo-arians and can eat a dozen each at one sitting and I don't like the weird looks I get at Sprouts when I buy more than what is apparently my allotment.

Perhaps you could sign Hal up for one of those "Neanderthal Man Camps" where they run around naked and beat drums around the campfire.....Maybe he'd return with your flock in fear you'd send him again....

rances said...
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