Pin It

It's that time of year when it simply does not pay to be a chicken.  As I write this, the Lansing Lions Club is barbecuing 1050 half-chickens for their annual Fourth of July Picnic.  Lansing is well known for massacring chickens, and I simply don't know what they have against us.  Even a cluck should get to have the freedom and independence that the Fourth stands for.  And a long life and the pursuit of happiness.

But in Lansing there is a startling inequality.  The summer months are a nightmare, with hundreds of chickens murdered and seared every week in front of the Town Hall.  Things have gotten so bad that town officials are now facilitating a permanent pavilion that will be the new home of the weekly barbaric slaughter.

But the ultimate massacre is for the Fourth every year, with more than three times the number of chickens whose goose is cooked than at the Town Hall barbecues.  Barbarous humans form a long line to get their chicken dinner.  They laugh and chatter as they consume us.  They sit at long picnic tables munching away, without a thought about our feelings in the matter.

I would like to say that salt potatoes and baked beans suffer the same fate as we chickens, but, let's face it, they don't really have the depth of feeling as we do.  Potatoes are, by nature, acquiescent to human  whims.  What other vegetable would consent to become Mr. Potato Head, a humiliating caricature that 'humanizes' potatoes as if they could vote or watch TV.  But potatoes don't mind.  They are the buffoons of the vegetable world.

Humans have tried to do the same with chickens.  Rubber chickens were a staple of Vaudeville humor for many years, until the powerful fowl lobby put a stop to that.  Now comedians who use rubber chickens in their acts are scoffed at as second-rate, unfunny prop comedians.

But causes like that are trivial when compared to the enormity of the Lansing chicken massacre.  And it gets worse -- 700 million chickens are slaughtered nation-wide to be purchased for Fourth of July celebrations -- yes that's just for one day!  Americans spend $371 million on chicken alone, and $62 million on cooked chicken.

Humans also eat 150 million hot dogs on the Fourth of July.  The greatest number of hot dogs that was ever eaten in a ten minute period was 72.  I don't know if that included buns and condiments.  It would take 2,083,333.33 humans to eat that many hot dogs in ten minutes if each one ate 72.  As foods go, it's hard to drum up empathy for a hot dog, at least when you are a chicken.

The Fourth is the top beer drinking holiday with spending reaching over a billion dollars on beer and another $586 million on wine.  Do you suppose that's why they eat so many of us chickens?  They're too drunk to know we're not hamburgers?

As for the Lions Club -- -sure they do a lot of good for the community.  They fund scholarships and build pavilions and provide eyeglasses for the needy, hearing aids for seniors, and clinics and scouts.

But I cry fowl!  What about us chickens?

Although, I will admit this: we chickens are delicious when barbecued with Cornell sauce.

Pin It