Chicken scandal

So here was the deal: an artist who wanted to do a final year show in which she ate WITH chickens instead of eating chickens was desperately searching for a place to house said chickens afterwards.

I said OK (even though i try to avoid get entangled in other people’s self-created problems I still do get caught up every so often). I thought maybe it would be fun, I don’t eat eggs that often but maybe it’s good to have a home supply. When she then told me that her parents had chickens but she wouldn’t be using them i started to smell a rat…

What transpired was that instead of three hens i got a hen and rooster. Yes. A male chicken. One who crows and is unlikely to give eggs at any point. the other is really young and might start producing eggs in september…

So i spoke to the artist and said i didn’t want these chickens. She said she would rehouse them but didn’t. Then she did the same show again at a festival and I thought we agreed that she would pick up the chickens to go to the festival and then find them a new home. I gave her a key to my place and went off for a few days travelling, hoping they would be gone when i came back.

What transpired was that she simply picked up more hens from her supplier and used them. So i still have this stupid flock. I feel like the artist, while protesting how we treat chickens as a commodity instead of living things, is repeating the error. They’re only useful to her as art objects…

Somehow this pisses me off more than people eating chickens (i eat chicken so im not on some moral highhorse here, well not the vegan one anyway). Using chickens for vegan artwork without looking after their future is not cool.

I found this blogpost entitled “you absolutely should not get backyard chickens” rather relevant, as i hope the quotation will demonstrate:

There is absolutely nothing ethically superior – and quite a bit that is ethically dubious, if you ask me – about enjoying the benefits of a young laying hen and then turning over the care or slaughter of that hen to someone else once it stops laying.

Whilst its talking about why someone who can’t deal with killing chickens should not get them, the main point here is about RESPONSIBILITY.

What about me though? Was i not treating these poor living creatures as commodities too? Yes i was, but i never pretended differently… i accepted the proposal for 3 egg-laying chickens and that’s not what i got.

So what am i going to do… would I kill them?

To be continued…

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