Tuesday, May 17, 2016

My generation: a parable

A parable:
My generation.
The box arrives. 101 yellow chicks, hungry, aside from one which lays dead. Hard to tell it was once a chick.
They are placed in a Hilton Hotel of sorts, where chickens are concerned.
Food, the best Purina makes, light, heat, temperature all controlled.
They eat.
They shit.
They grow.
At about five weeks the provider culls 50 of these almost five pound birds.
They go to the low rent neighborhood.
Near my house.
He gives them away. No way in hell he'd accept the full value of a prepared meal made from one of these animals in exchange for killing, plucking, gutting the bird.
He has never known hunger.
His birds, now my birds, live in a makeshift coop made from pallets, baling wire and scraps of mesh wire.
I have known hunger.
Meanwhile, the few remaining birds from the Hilton sit in a cage, 8 pounds already. Winners at the livestock show. Never mind they cannot walk.
Back in low rent village, someone shows up and picks up all the birds that cannot walk.
They are taken, killed and gutted, one by one.
Over the next few weeks, more become immobile, unable to support their weight.
I open the door to the cage and leave a space large enough for them to come and go.
Many die.
Their carcasses mostly fed dogs or pigs.
Some were so nasty that not even the dogs were interested.
Today there are fifteen healthy birds from the original one hundred, healthy, active, coming and going.
Fifteen more sit, immobile, depressed.
This is my generation.

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