you wrote in praise of these creatures at the end of your wonderful,
cautionary rat discourse.
I think also the urban attitude to 'chooks' (as we call them down here in
Oz - nice non sexist, no-ageist name) derives from urban attitudes to
roosters and sleep and the quaint idea among many folks that hens need
roosters to lay eggs [huh, bicycles].
I would add also in praise of chooks that two or three require only a few
square metres, if they have sun, shelter and lots of dirt. Ours at times are
certainly better to watch than television and way smarter than most people
in this street. It's salutary, in a government town, with its at times
wooden-headed sense of bureaucratic hierarchy, to sit outside and see what a
pecking order really is.
Another factor in anti-chookery arises from attitudes to dirt [the chronic
urban disorder of antiseptic organophobia). Most city folk go pale at the
kinds of thoughts in Bill Duesing's item on 'soil and intestines'. I go way
beyond Duesing, so close your eyes.
I myself am of the view that we will only understand our place in the
overall ecology when we accept that higher organisms are just games played
by mitochondria to keep away from the oxygen atmosphere, and skeletons just
a neat set of party ideas for keeping calcium in its place and out of the
cytosol. I tried to discuss this with the chooks last night but they went to
bed and the family dragged me inside and made me grill chicken.
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