Chickens In Charge

Some time ago, in his Dabbler Diary, Brit wrote about chickens:

Do you ever worry about the scale of chicken slaughter in the world? Sometimes at Asda, contemplating a pack of six chicken thighs, for example, I think, well that’s three chickens that have laid down their meagre little lives right there… And there are so many packs on the shelves. And so many Asdas in the country. Not to mention Tescos and the rest. Then think of all the KFCs across the globe, dishing out bucketfuls of legs and wings 24/7. And of course we cannot exclude my beloved Nando’s’ role in this unimaginable daily massacre.

“Best not to think about it really” he concludes. But I have been thinking about it, for eighteen months now. Not continuously, to the exclusion of any other thoughts in my bonce, but every now and then, every now and then. And whenever I think about it, I find myself thinking, what if the chickens were in charge?

Imagine that a phenomenon beloved of sci-fi writers occurred – a miasmic gas sweeping across the globe, or a befuddling magnetic reversal – and the result was the empowerment of chickens. Perhaps their brains would be transformed and they would become hyperintelligent, or – more terrifyingly – they would remain just as stupid as Werner Herzog thinks they are but grow to monstrous size. Then they would wreak their revenge upon humanity. The unimaginable daily slaughter of chickens at the hands of humankind would become the unimaginable daily slaughter of humans at the talons of chickenkind.

Such a scenario is equally horrifying if we imagine a reversal of our size relative to any small creature, particularly the allegedly “cute” ones. Look carefully at a squirrel. Now ponder how things would be if you were the size of the squirrel and the squirrel the size of you. Do you honestly think it would toss peanuts in your path for you to squirrel away?

This is the stuff of nightmares, and of fat airport bookstall bestsellers and interminable blockbuster film franchises. Revenge Of The Chickens 4, or Squirrel Holocaust 7. Perhaps Brit is right, and it is best not to think about it.

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