I’m not what you could call a vegetarian (although not for lack of trying on my parents’ part). However, I am also at best a reluctant carnivore. Perhaps because I was a little late to the feast, I can’t help but mentally reconstruct the animal I’m eating – thinking of where it came from, what its role is in the natural order, how its species evolved and survived miraculously the ruthless cleaver of natural selection for millions of years. Unless there’s fish on the table. Slimy, scaly little monsters.
Which is also precisely why I enjoy eating chicken as much as I do.
Once you start thinking about this animal (please, it’s not a bird) you can’t help but wonder what its whole point is. We are probably the only reason these creatures are not yet extinct. They have no apparent skills at defending themselves against predators (I don’t think hysterically flapping your wings counts, despite its potential to cause a paralyzing fit of laughter). They bring nothing to the proverbial table, except their expertise at eating small pebbles; the food chain would probably not collapse if they’re gone. And they’re ugly.
And still there exist – by a conservative estimate – more than 25 billion of them on Earth. They should bloody well be grateful to us.
What will happen if we stop eating them? Imagine the catastrophe. And really, they should be happy we keep them safe and cozy in their little cages. We can’t exactly release them into the wild, can we? They’ll be running around like … oh, never mind. Even the tigers are having a hard time out there, for godsakes. Neither can we hold them up high and release them lovingly into the open skies as a symbol for peace and hope. Unless we want to watch their pathetic attempt at flight end with their puny brains splattered across the pavement. Birds, my ass.
The only imaginable purpose this species can therefore serve, is to satisfy the gastronomical cravings of their benevolent protectors. And a noble purpose it is. It’s what evolution has shaped them to achieve, and it’s the only reason why they’re alive. The only other way was if they had evolved to be cute.
Like the Giant fucking Panda. The lazy bastard does its best to ensure extinction – refusing to have sexy time (even with Viagra), sucking on bamboo shoots all day long despite genetically being a carnivore, and eating specially-created nutritional biscuits in protected habitats. (Baap ne dekhe hain biscuit? Bhen…). But we do all this just because the human race thinks it looks fucking cute. (Which it doesn’t actually. Like Jeremy Clarkson once said, its eyes look like two piss-holes in the snow.)
So, yeah. Cute or tasty. Like it or not, those are the only two ways to survive on this planet. The chicken should count its blessings for having at least one of those attributes. You know, instead of sitting around with that sad, whiny face in those ‘OMG look how cruel KFC is’ videos which spurred me to write this post in the first place. No, it doesn’t make anyone cry. We have real problems, like wars and famine and trouble finding a decent pair of shoes.
So let’s fulfill its destiny. Let’s stick it in the tandoor. Let’s dignify it. Let’s kentucky-fry it. Let’s smile – after picking our teeth – and say, “You’re most welcome”.
It’s not a bird.