From GENE LOGSDON
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but when reporters are interviewing people on the radio news, especially in so-called third world countries, there are often roosters crowing or hens clucking in the background. I think I know what’s going on. Chickens are using the airways to signal each other about the latest advances in their conquest of the backyards of the world. All that cockadoodledooing and clucketyclucking translates into “we shall overcome. No more egg factories.”
I got a huge kick out of what a respondent on this blogsite, Betty, wrote recently— that she had heard about cases of salmonella popping up from people kissing their hens. I can believe it. People kiss their dogs and cats, so why not their chickens. My only problem is where do you kiss a chicken?
Chickens are well on their way to ruling the roost including the human part of it. It all started when people discovered that hens make good pets. I can just imagine what the historians will write. It will go something like this:
The discovery that hens make nice pets was the turning point into the era of All Local Food. Humans found out that they could talk to chickens just the way they could talk to cats and dogs, and so they quickly trained their feathered pets to use litter boxes placed strategically under their night perches. Well at least most of the time, as with cats and dogs. From then on, hens ruled the roost. If they needed a coat to go outside in cold weather, coats were provided. If Little Red Hen demanded exotic foods she got them, hang the cost. As John Emrich wrote in his 2014 book, The Local Yolk, when he found out that Chicagoans were renting cars and driving out to organic farms to pay $25 for a sack of organic feed, he started a successful business servicing backyard hens. All sorts of organic farms sprang into existence providing vitamin and mineral rich wild weed seed and exotic insects for the purest organic protein and ancient heritage grains, seeds of which were discovered in storehouses in an Egyptian pyramid, pure of any chemical or genetically modified defilement. Nothing was too good for Henny Penny, whether the sky was falling or not. Still cheaper than playing golf.
But the real reason pet chickens came to rule the roost was because cats and dogs can’t lay eggs. In the new era, the hen egg became the main icon of human civilization. Although once deemed nearly poisonous back in the dark ages of the late twentieth century, science discovered that not only did eggs not clog arteries, but were indeed the almost perfect food, rich in proteins and minerals, especially when laid by a hen allowed to live in the natural world of the backyard. The egg could be turned into countless delicious foods, fried, boiled, pickled, turned into hundreds of different omelets, pasta, pastries, quiche, custards, an ingredient in fact of most human foods. All of this from a beautifully-feathered pet that could fill house or yard with lovely, trilling music. And in payment, this wonderful pet would supply you for free with fertilizer for your garden.
As if this were not heaven enough, this same wondrous creature was the source of an amazing variety of soups and meats, and as human culture eased into the high tide of the Nearly Free Food era, all those who opted for meat in their diets got used to the idea of eating some of their pets as eons of farmers had learned to do in previous eras. Who would ever had thought that by the year 2050, almost every human household had become nearly food independent and every weekend filled with coq au vin and hen song, which coincidentally, both of which medical science had learned, could reduce human stress-related illnesses. Earth had been transformed into a sort of paradise, and, having been warned by Henny Penny, humanity kept the sky from falling too.