Friday, August 3, 2012

On Not Eating Gay Chicken

I'm not eating at Chik-fil-A lately, but that's nothing new.  I just don't eat chicken.

As a vegetarian, I try not to be one-a them annoying folks who smugly beam out at the Morally Inferior Flesh-Munchers around them, as I wanly gnaw on my semi-edible organic tofu jerky.   I succeed most of the time.

I've been known to grill meat on occasion for my boys.  Well, on frequent occasion.  In the summer, that's every other day.  I  love grilling, because 1) Me like fire. Fire good! and 2) There's a reason YHWH preferred Abel's burnt offering to Cain's.
 Man, does that kalbi smell good, truly an odor pleasing to the Lord.

But if I ate meat, I'd have an issue with Chik-Fil-A.  Not that they're different from KFC, mind you.  Or Burger King.  Or Wendys.  Or most of the meat we buy and eat.

To be utterly honest, every once in a while the kids do go to BK.  But when I prepare meat for them at home, I try to get stuff that's locally sourced and/or humanely raised.  It costs a bit more, but if I'm going to prepare food, that's the way I want to roll.

Chik-Fil-A chicken is...well...only the finest-quality factory-produced fast-food-standard chicken.  Which means it meets all the self-imposed standards of the factory-farming industry.  Its website also proudly announces that the chicken at Chik-fil-A meets all legal heartening, I suppose.

A quick look at the National Chicken Council lets us know that what is most industry standard are "genetic improvements,"  "automation," and taking advantage of new "pharmaceutical, biological, and production technologies."  There's also a large section on their website hailing the merits of "vertical integration," which is buzzword-speak for "the multinational conglomerate that now so generously lets you still work your family-farm which it now basically owns."

Checking out Chik-Fil-A's  own materials on the subject, we hear that their producers only give antibiotics to their chickens to prevent illness. But their chickens are raised packed conditions, which makes illness easily spread.

It also means, if some old studies about significant overcrowding in animal populations are to be believed, that most of the hens could well be lesbian.  Such studies aren't definitive, of course, particularly cross-species.  But that is sort of ironic, in a horrible way, given the subject at hand.

The long and the short of it is that they pump 'em up with animal drugs, which we then ingest.

We also hear that they only feed their chickens a carefully selected mix of grains, chemicals, and animal byproducts.  Meaning, bits of whatever happens to be left over in the rendering process.  Yum!

And then, of course, having raised these creatures by the hundreds of millions in remarkably unpleasant conditions, they're killed and breaded and served to us, the apex predator.

This, for me, raises another interesting irony.

Here we have a chain that espouses biblical values, yet is as a business by necessity entirely governed by the values of industrial meat production and distribution.   Those latter values...which leave no sabbath for the creatures they create and destroy, and which treat animals not as vessels of the Creator's breath just as we are, but as inanimate objects...are utterly alien to scripture.

Such strange, strange ironies, our culture serves up.  With waffle fries, no less.