Tuesday, December 17, 2013

They May Be Turkeys, But Their Goose Is Definitely Cooked

Every time I see a truck transporting animals - usually chickens (or in this case, I think they were turkeys) or pigs - for a split second, I get all giddy like a kid.  "Look!  Chickens!" and "How cuuute.  Piggies!!"

Then reality sets in and I realize they're headed to their demise.  

"Over the river and through the woods to the slaughterhouse we go..."  I'm not an animal activist or anything like that, and wouldn't give up bacon (or God, pork loin)  if you put a gun to my head, but it is kinda sad to see them like this.  Especially since I regularly eat poultry and see these bird cage trucks on the road all the time - it's a constant reminder.
It's not so bad when you see the pigs, because they seem to have a little more room to roam around when being transported, even when you know where they're headed.  But the birds?  They're just jammed into the cages, with no room to move around.  Feathers were flying behind the truck as it went down the road, and when you think about how many birds are in each cage, giving a rough count, it really is pretty inhumane.
I saw one bird whose leg was poking through the grate, and I could tell he was stuck there in that position.  The childlike wonder wears off pretty instantaneously.  

Many years ago I dated a guy whose parents raised chickens.  He took me into the long barns they keep the chickens in, and I got to see them midway through their 6-week lifespan.  There were thousands of them.  And they gathered all around.  They make a lot of noise.  He even showed me a little trick - he stood there and said, "Shhhh" out loud.  And every bird went silent.  It was pretty amazing.

He told me the best time was when they were first delivered, as teeny little chicks.  That you could sit on the floor and they'd climb all over you, their yellow downy fur caressing your skin.  And they peep.  A LOT.  Peep peep peep peep peep peep.  Thousands of peeps.

He said they would go from chicks to six-pound birds in six weeks.  They were fed some kind of super-feed to make them grow fast.  And if there were any sickly ones, they would cull them so they wouldn't eat the feed that would be better used by other birds.  I remember him saying his mom was in charge of doing that - with a stick.  Hard to imagine that sweet lady beating a bird to death, but she did it.     

So this was a pleasant Christmas season post, wasn't it?  Sorry to be so depressing, but the activities on the road are light this week.  Not much to write about.  But hey - it's trucking, right?  And it's true.  But maybe this isn't a post to share with the kids just yet.

Like me, they can still go on believing their poultry comes from the grocery store.  Or better yet, in a bucket, or in the shape of a nugget, or pounded thin and sauteed with white wine and lemon.  

Yeah, that last one.  SO yum.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2012: Just In Case You've Run Out Of Ideas
2011: Getting Stoned In New York*
2010: I Used To Care But Now I Take A Pill For That
2009: Wet And Woodsy
2008: Bite Sized Yummy Goodness
2007: There’s A Time For Everything
2006: Colors Of The Barrio
2005: Puss In Breasts

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