"tastes just like chicken" ..... how many times have we heard this one as applied to different [often foreign] types of foods?
chicken is, and probably always will be, that meat we know and love for most of us carnivores. the conditions under which chickens are raised and dispatched for our consumption is quite another story.
obviously, standards for "production" of this meat item depend on variables such as population numbers, consumer demand, food traditions and agricultural & climatic conditions. it is not so brilliant to assume that as our population increases in canada and the united states, so does demand for this bird. the following chart shows a steady increase in pounds eaten/per capita per year — how reliable that information is, i cannot say. this interesting article discusses how the world population can be divided into several groups and describes how the amount of chicken eaten per person is directly related to yearly income.
as the demand is heightened, i am sure the standards are lowered for how this animal is raised, treated and, in the end, killed for market. i will not go into details as that is upsetting and well, gross. suffice it to say, i am glad i eat kosher chickens which are individually "shechted" [killed for meat] in what is considered the most expedient and humane manner. the conditions under which these chickens are brought up and kept, i am not sure but would not be surprised if they are the same ones which meet their end being electrocuted "en masse" in other abattoirs.
as with the beef scare due to bovine encephalitis in years past, we also face/d a similar problem with poultry due to the avian flu. these are indeed serious problems — enough to turn one vegetarian. in spite of these scares however, we seem to return/revert back to normal patterns of what we consumed previously once the danger has passed.
i like to call myself a part-time carnivore who eats meat mostly during the holidays. the remainder of the year, i rely on a vegetarian and dairy based diet. i don't think i could ever become vegan. but then again i never thought i would be as "vegetarian" as i have been over the past years. this choice has been precipitated mostly because of my greater awareness of issues i have raised above in this post and other topics like how they are fed and injected with hormones.
i do not wish to be political or impose my beliefs on others. what i am saying here are my own thoughts on the subject. i just can't but help sometimes think about that poor chicken as i eat it at the holidays or on a special occasion.
so why is my post entitled aggressive chickens & contact lenses? well, you will just have to read this crazy [short] article to find out. it is quite odd, to say the least.
to learn more about the chicken itself, wikipedia has a nice round up which covers many aspects with everything from the different breeds to chickens in religion.
for a daily chicken cartoon check out this site called savage chickens — it's pretty funny.
mike the chicken — not your regular chicken. just bizarre.
i am a bit guilt ridden to include this site [it includes recipes which i didn't feel would be appropriate in this post] but here it is anyway: canadian chicken farmers of canada. it includes a variety of topics.