Random Thoughts for a Tuesday

One of the new little chickens in our coop died today. Something happened to its legs, which for chickens — like horses — is pretty much a death sentence.

New chicks (and two Guineafowl) at the water bowl

I’ve gotten used to a chicken dying occasionally — they get stuck in strange places, the coyotes get them, etc. — so it doesn’t phase me so much. Less blasé, however, am I than the chickens themselves. They just sort of step over their dead friend and continue about their business, casting each other glances every so often as if to say, “What’ya suppose is the matter with Larry?”

Can you imagine if humans were the same? “Umm, Mom… I think Grandpa is dead on the couch.” “Yes dear, I know… can you set the table for dinner please?”

*   *   *

I’ve written six different Good Gadget, Bad Gadget posts, and had thought I’d pretty much exhausted the subject. But just when I begin to think that, I discover something new that surprises and/or amazes me, which I have to share with the world. Today, I stumbled upon the Worst Gadget in History. They were sitting there by the dozens on the “clearance” shelf at Target. No surprise.

I present to you, “pizza scissors.”

I can only imagine trying to lift a hot, floppy pizza in order to cut it with the pizza scissors.

*   *   *

I recently offended a reader on my friend Rachel’s blog.

Rachel had written a lovely piece about how a friend of hers had been inspired by one of her earlier posts, and had gone vegan. She had lost 25 pounds, was feeling great about herself and didn’t miss meat at all!

One reader commented about how it would be hard to go vegan because of bacon. Unable to resist, I added my two cents:

“The good news is that they are now able to surgically remove the bacon with minimal discomfort to the pig.”

Another reader, a vegan unamused by my humor, responded with a quote:

“Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight.” ~ Albert Schweitzer

To which I responded:

“Totally.”

I apologize to that particular reader if my humor was in bad taste (well, let’s face it… if we’re talking about bacon, it can’t help but be good taste!) However, it’s always been my opinion that while we should take our values and our beliefs with the utmost seriousness, we must be careful never to take ourselves too seriously.

*   *   *

Speaking of various kinds of “-tarians,” my 6-year-old daughter Willa had her friend, Honor, over to play a week or so ago.

I was in the kitchen preparing some pork ribs, when Honor came in to see what I was doing.

“I’m a pescatarian,” the also-6-year-old Honor declared.

“How interesting,” said I. “You don’t eat any meat? Not even bacon.”

“No,” she said emphatically, adding: “I don’t understand how you can have a pig for a pet and still eat pork.”

Out of the mouths of babes.

*   *   *

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Julie Riebe
    Sep 06, 2012 @ 00:06:02

    My daughter would love this post. She has a piece of bacon as a screensaver on her phone!

    Reply

  2. Shannon
    Jan 05, 2014 @ 19:51:29

    Is it apropos that I should click around your blog and find THIS post? (The picture of the chickens called to me.) That and Julie Riebe above is a favorite blogger of mine.

    I totally remember that post, more than a year ago now, and though I’d have to go look, it might have even been me who wrote that quote. If it was, I doubt it out of offense to your comment — which I do think to be very funny AND appropriate — but as a means to remind people that bacon comes from once living things, living things who’s lives are less than lives because we think that’s okay. All in the name of bacon.

    Just so you know, I too love bacon. And mayo. But I don’t love where either comes from, so as a general rule, I live without them. Cheers!

    PS — If you’ve never made mayo from your own chicken’s eggs, you should. Eggs from happy chickens make the best tasting mayo.

    Reply

  3. scolgin
    Jan 05, 2014 @ 20:28:54

    Well I do hope if it WAS you, that you realize a good percentage of what I say is said with tongue firmly in cheek. I agree with you — I don’t love the “where” of where most of our meat comes from. I’ve tried, as much as possible, to go artisan/heritage/heirloom, and buy from farms whose practices I know and approve of. And we in our family actually eat very little meat as a percentage of our diet — I strongly believe that if people cut back on their meat consumption by 50% (or probably even 30%), we wouldn’t need factory farms and antibiotic-juiced animals, and our food industry could be much more ethical and local.

    And YES, I do make may with our chicken eggs! The main reason I got them was so that a lot of the things I make — mayo, fresh pasta, etc. — could be made with fresh eggs. (And so my kids could have a semi-farmy experience. 🙂

    Reply

    • Shannon
      Jan 06, 2014 @ 02:54:49

      Ah, then. You make me smile. You may even like my next scheduled post which is at the farm in the middle of poultry “rush hour.” Bubba (my farmer, for veggies) offered me a feral hog yesterday — for free, already slaughtered, butchered. I got excited until I learned the details of its demise (not “ethical” enough for me). Your kids have it good to enjoy the company of feathered friends. Alas, our HOA won’t allow them. So nice to meet you. Slightly jealous of your eggs.

      Reply

      • scolgin
        Jan 06, 2014 @ 04:20:23

        Might Bubba be able to ship that hog west? 🙂

      • Shannon
        Jan 06, 2014 @ 19:45:32

        Ha! Would be nice huh?

        We have more than our share of wild hogs here along the Brazos River; no more natural predators and they are prolific breeders. I’ll bet if you came here on a hunting weekend, you’d bag one quick. They have become a growing concern and I’m all for thinning the population — safely, responsibly, humanely — but I would not put steel traps in any of those categories. As it turned out, the hog went to a very deserving family. At least the flesh wasn’t wasted (like the coyote was, who was innocent by catch).

        See? So much easier to just not ask the questions. Consumers should press more, but until they do, factory farms is the sad answer.

      • scolgin
        Jan 06, 2014 @ 21:33:41

        Oh, so you’re in Texas then? My sister just moved to Dallas so we’re planning to get down there one of these days. Maybe I’ll try to bag a hog while I’m there. 😉 (I like to picture driving back into L.A. on the freeways with a hog strapped to the roof.) Oh man, yeah… steel traps are not cool under any circumstances. Geez.

      • Shannon
        Jan 08, 2014 @ 18:13:57

        Dallas and Houston are not that much different — and then we’re COMPLETELY different. Hope you get to make it out here to see your sister some day; I could totally see you driving away with a 350-lb hog on your hood. Nobody here would look at you twice — would fit in like a gen-u-wine Texas redneck. 🙂

        I enjoyed the back-and-forth!

        PS — wild hog meat, though gamier than their domesticated cousins, is pretty dadgum delicious. Properly smoked, it takes bacon to a whole ‘nuther level.

      • scolgin
        Jan 08, 2014 @ 23:13:07

        I’ve had wild boar from Texas, and that was pretty good!

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