Saturday, September 9, 2017

A Chicken Vigil Might be a Sign that Vigils Have Jumped the Shark

I don't want to be the kind of person who types the sentence "vigils have jumped the shark." I don't even want to be the kind of person who thinks that. 

Because what kind of person makes fun of vigils? A small, petty, mean little person. 

That's who. 

Vigils are serious business. Even the word suggests a solemn stoicism, a religious watchfulness. A vigilance, if you will. I don't want to be the kind of person that makes fun of vigils, and yet I am; and in the spirit of "owning my truth," which seems to be a very popular 2017 pastime, I'm just going to accept this as a character flaw.

I can't tell if this flaw is either magnified or minimized by the fact that the vigil I'll be making fun of tonight is a vigil for chickens who died in a fire in Utah. 

This isn't big enough news for me to confirm on Snopes. I did my due diligence there, and all I found was debunked rumors of rat meat being served as chicken wings

No, the AP is a legitimate news organization, so the fact that animal rights groups are standing vigil for 100,000 fried chickens is not the FAKE NEWS it would at first appear to be.

As it so happens, I wrote last week about chicken sashimi and my overall feeling about chicken. I think chickens are absolutely disgusting (but delicious!) when they're dead, and just plain old disgusting when they're alive. 

And at the risk of sounding like a sociopath, I wouldn't feel compelled to "honor the lives" of 100,000 chickens. Am I happy they died a fiery death, clucking and frightened in their likely inhumane conditions? Of course not. Like I said, I'm not a sociopath. I only maybe sound like one.

No. 

I just wouldn't go out of my way to stand vigil in order to honor the life of a chicken. Or 100. Or even 1,000 or even 100,000 chickens. Not unless it was a combination vigil-BBQ, which would be in this instance at once efficient, reverent, and tasty.

Like we could have the vigil and be sad for a second about all there is to be sad about with respect to chickens: 

Our broken food system; our corporate overlords; the terrible conditions under which they've made us keep chickens; the eggs that must be advertised as cage-free, lest we call to mind the squalid coop where this egg was disgorged from a chicken's cloaca and thus be put off our quiche; our very humanity receding into the gaping, insatiable maw of the agro-industrial complex.

All of it. 

We could stand there with furrowed brows and silent, pursed lips and think about all of this with our heads bowed respectfully. 

And then--and really I'm just spit-balling here--we could fetch the 100,000 dead chickens from inside the ruins of their smoldering prison and finish them on a grill, and put them on a sturdy paper plate with BBQ sauce, some potato salad (vinegar-based, no mayo please), and a side of some sort of red cabbage-based Asian slaw.

That sounds reasonable, doesn't it?

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