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Why I hesitate to raise chickens: An exploration of chickenosity and maximalistic chickenship
A Farewell To Chickens
I read Biilybuc's hub and loved it. I realized I myself would love to raise chickens. I agree that it's fun. They are not only good pets, they also make for excellent philosophical debates and existentialist discussions. I have come to respect their level of intellect far more than my other friends whom I find too overbearing, argumentative and dogmatic. One of them uses Kierkegaard as a verb and uses his quotes in the most inappropriate ways. One of these days I'll have him arrested for illegal use of someone else's famous words in completely in-congruent contexts, such as when we were shopping for sandals he used this quote: "To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself."
In contrast, chickens hardly put up any resistance and agree with most everything you say especially when they are pecking at the bread you offer them. The reason I hesitate to consider raising chickens is not that they are meddlesome or noisy or they text too much or they poop on the kitchen table. No. Chickens are actually too virtuous to do any of that (because they're not teenagers). My reasons are completely different.
Of Rabbits and Men
Not by design, I once adopted two wonderfully tender and loving rabbits that my dumbooly neighbors neglected, kind of of abused, and abandoned. The kids definitely had some obvious creative issues that they didn't know how to channel properly. For instance, for one Halloween they painted stripes on the white rabbits and took them trick or treating. They mistakenly thought anyone would actually think the rabbits are dressed as buck-toothed tigers with deformed ears. Most people thought it was an attempt to portray the rabbits as run-away jail-birds and to be honest with you, the rabbits did not appreciate being perceived suchly. Then a week later the kids got tired of the stripes and tried to bleach the rabbits to get the stripes out. It didn't work, so they decided to spray paint them all white, and as a result the rabbit got high on paint. One of them got the muchies and went through 3 bags of carrots in a matter of seconds. Then for the next 2 days they were all embarrassed and quiet and avoided dropping their round pellets or performing other expected activities. Knowing their anti-drug stance I knew what had happened was really an insult but they swallowed their pride in favor of keeping the peace.
There were other instances of abuse. The youngest kid kept thinking that rabbits belong to the equine family and kept trying to ride them. But the rabbits wouldn't gittyup. I know they didn't like to be ridden that way, especially by a serial diaper pooper and known bed wetter. They especially didn't like their ears being pulled. I knew they thought their beautiful ears had been stretched to unnatural lengths and as much as they were not vain, it offended their sense of aesthetics to have ears that could also be used as suspenders.
My neighbor was this ditsy dolt of a blonde divorcee who was still dating her ex-husband at the same time that she was trying out new bedmates on eHarmony for size. To her credit, she would only date her ex-husband if something in the house broke down and needed fixing. But as soon as the ex-husband finished the repair and cleaned up his tools she would pick an excuse and start another fight and kick him out. I could sense that the rabbits did not like all the chaos, nor did they like the choices that eHarmony had made for her. They thought the 21 dimensions of compatibly that eHarmony is famous for was not compatible with a 3 dimensional world and anyone who has seen that well-known Spongebob episode with the evil pencil knows how things could go wrong in mismatching dimensions. Increasingly the rabbits would crawl under the fence in between mine and the neighbor's backyard and spend more and more time in mine. At first my blonde neighbor would come to my door to ask for the rabbits back and ask leading and personal questions. But the last thing I wanted to do was to get chummy with someone with 3 kids who abused rabbits, a sucker for an ex-husband and a stream of eHarmony one-nighters.
So, whenever the rabbits came over I stopped answering the door. And eventually the rabbits stopped going back and the neighbor stopped coming by to get them (or me). I guess the neighbors got a clue the rabbits had chosen moi over them and let me tell you what an ego boost it is when rabbits pick you and all your flaws over 3 blonde kids and a repeat customer of eHarmony.
For Whom The Rabbits Toll
But here is where my scars were inflicted. I thought the rabbits were safe in my backyard, thus no cages. About a year later one of them disappeared and I thought it had either run away or one of the kids had strayed into my backyard and fetched it. A few nights later, much to my horror, when I heard some unworldly, chilling sounds from the side yard and ran there I saw the profile of some kind of a large cat-like predator having grabbed the rabbit by its delicate throat and shaking it violently. Instantly, a rush of powerful primeval protective rage came over me. There was an intense desire to grab the predator by its throat and rip its head off just as it was trying to do to my little rabbit (whom from henceforth we shall name chockey). After I chased the predator it dropped the rabbit which was still alive but for only a couple more minutes. The predator jumped over the wall and disappeared into the thick of the night. I held my rabbit one last time. It shook and trembled in my arms as the light of life fled its once twinkling, vivacious eyes. There were 4 clean puncture holes in its crushed throat. And so the only time I witnessed from up close a wild animal hunt and kill another animal the prey happened to be a beloved pet and boy that shook me to the core.
And so, no, it's too soon. I won't be raising chickens just yet.
Should they they make it illegal to eat rabbits?
Every year thousands of rabbits are sent to labor camps in China to manufacture Easter goods for us. Please do your part to stop rabbit trafficking. Please donate to the Rabbit Welfare Society or Rabbit Protection League.