Dear Wigleaf,
A student told me about her uncle's farm in Russia. "I can hear the cows mooing," she said. "And I don't want to eat anything. The dining halls are better."  The class agreed—the greater the disconnect, the better the food. We were discussing "Consider the Lobster."  I'd forgotten, again, where I live.
I told my students that around here, people want that connection. There are farms where you can order chickens before they're full grown. The chickens have names, they tell you, not numbers. You can go see Lucille at the farm. My students have never looked more disgusted. To them, knowing an animal's name is more inhumane than boiling a lobster alive. It's like eating a pet. Plus, my class is right before lunch.
I didn't tell my students a few things: 1) I've been calling the chicken I just ordered Lucille. 2) Lucille will be the first chicken I've eaten in ten years. 3) I'm terrified of what will happen when I bite through Lucille's skin.
Yesterday, the weather was perfect, and I took a drive. I saw cows, pigs, and pumpkins. Just outside the tree line, a deer watched traffic. Right as we passed, its body twisted, head moving in the opposite direction of its haunches, and it ran back into the woods.
I write about animals a lot. Maybe because I grew up in the suburbs without them. Maybe because I've never killed a chicken. Maybe because I'd never been that close to a deer before.
-----Christy Crutchfield

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Read CC's "He Did the Opposite."

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