Effect Measure

It’s Thanksgiving Holiday in the US. For many Americans a time to dine on traditional foods with family and friends; for a significant number of Americans a difficult time of loneliness or family tension; for the original Americans, a time to reflect on how European occupiers and invaders took your land and your way of life. We are fortunate enough to be in the first group but we never forget how fortunate we are. If you aren’t American (and most of the world isn’t) it’s just another work day or another day of trying to make it to the next day.

Whatever, it’s not a heavy day for blog traffic, so I thought I’d leave you with this amusing and curious clip from an American late night variety show, The David Letterman Show. Letterman interviews public radio documentarian story teller, Ira Glass on Thanksgiving turkeys and chickens and his encounter with “chicken activists.” It has an interesting and surprising punchline. Then there’s a break and an entirely unconnected segment with singer songwriter Regina Spektor. I enjoyed it but it has no point except that it’s on the same clip. Enjoy:


  1. #1 K
    November 27, 2008

    What a hoot Revere. As you are guessing Chickens stir up quite a bit of emotion for chicken lovers. I guess I am sort of an anomaly. I love our chickens who do have personalities. We name them all and have many for 5 years or more. But we also slaughter and eat them Not at all hard with the young excess roosters named Soup and Stew but a little harder with older hens that have stopped laying. But we eat some of them too…. Everything dies and our birds have exceptionally good lives – free range, lots of room, greens and veggies every day. We deliver a quick death. Luckily once the feathers are off most chickens look the same so we don’t have to name our meat only our living birds.

    Death is not the worst thing that can happen to a living creature. Bush has shown us that at Gitmo.

  2. #2 Tercel
    November 28, 2008

    I have such a crush on Regina Spektor.

  3. #3 Victoria
    November 28, 2008

    Honestly, if you are hungry enough, friendship does not count for anything.

  4. #4 K
    November 28, 2008

    It is rumored that in China when 30 million died of starvation and also in North Korea that people ate their own children or traded with others so they were eating someone else’s children.

    But we don’t eat our hens because we are hungry, rather we cull them when they eat but don’t lay and eat them not to waste the meat. A few very special ones get to stay on till time takes over but even then we often hasten the end as death by old age is often not as easy or quick as a sharp axe.

  5. #5 Lora
    November 30, 2008

    That is really not what I expected when I read the headline, oddly enough.

    Most of the “chicken activists” I know are looking to repeal local laws/regulations about whether or not they are permitted to keep chickens on their property. In many areas, they’re considered dirty, smelly, nasty, low class, etc. Which is true of any animal, if you don’t clean up after it or feed it properly.

    I am impressed that K eats the old hens when they stop laying. In my experience, it’s like eating a boiled volleyball, best given to the cats, no matter how long they stay in the crock pot.

  6. #6 K
    November 30, 2008

    Lora, I boil them on the stove for as long as it takes for the flesh to fall off the bones – sometimes several hours. Maybe boiling on the stove rather than the crock pot is the trick, don’t know. Usually they have been freeloaders so they have lots of fat for good broth. They usually seem easier to get tender than all but the youngest of roosters. But I even get old roosters tender. The only ones we don’t eat are those who look really strange – discolored flesh or organs. They are probably fine but ain’t worth trying as long as we have plenty to eat.

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