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.
- - -
Read CC's "He Did the Opposite."
w i g · l e a F