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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Chickens are People Too

Blind-coverOne of the very shiniest highlights of 2015 was the Boston Book Festival on October 25th: I got to do a panel (“The Kids Are Not Alright”) with Jennifer McMahon and Rupert Thomson and moderated by the lovely Rachel DeWoskin. I read everyone’s most recent novels to prepare, and all of them were wonderful in very different ways. Rachel’s novel, Blind, explores the rocky emotional terrain and evolving relationships of fifteen-year-old Emma, who loses her eyesight in a fireworks accident. It is beautifully written, and (surprise, surprise) I particularly appreciated Emma’s reasoning for going vegetarian:

…I actually stopped eating meat three years ago, after my parents took us to a farm and I saw some chickens snuggling each other and realized that chickens are actually just people, except bumpier and smaller and covered with feathers. They snuggle their family members, is what I’m saying, and that was enough for me—I could never eat anybody’s body again, not even a chicken’s.

It’s the eating-someone-else’s-body thing that really clinches it for me—the “if I weren’t already veg, I would be now” moment; and this also reminds me that I must write a post on the concept of “non-human people.”

Thank you to Rachel for letting me share this passage from her work!


2 Comments to Chickens are People Too

  1. November 13, 2015 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    I would love to post this on my Facebook page.

  2. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    November 17, 2015 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    I love the image of a bunch of little chickens snuggling.

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.