Sunday, January 01, 2006

I Really Hope This Is A Joke...

...but given that it's Santa Fe, it's probably not. The Santa Fe Reporter, which is the local weekly alternative paper, recently published a piece on bird flu. One Emmet Miller, the director for Kinsmen Vying for Ethical Treatment of Chickens (KVETCH) writes in protest:

"I would like to express my shock and dismay at your choice of cover image for your Nov. 30 issue. This reckless and irresponsible portrayal and perpetuation of stereotype is not only morally reprehensible but frankly inexcusable in this day and age of enlightenment. Chickens have been friends, neighbors, and indeed cornerstones of our community, not to mention our nutritive infrastructure, for as long as we have been on this planet, and will continue to be so far into our collective futures. The reckless representation and implied negativity put forth by your cover imagery not only presents chickens in a gross and dangerously inaccurate light, it diminishes and negates the boundless benevolence these feathered friends have provided over the course of each of our respective lives. Because of the unfortunate paths of a small percentage of these God's creatures [sic] in other parts of the world, and the subsequent illnesses visited upon them, should the entirety of the species be condemned to be feared and hated, indeed to be portrayed as an enemy? I can only hope that your insensitivity will not instigate any similarly reckless and malevolent behavior directed toward any such innocent and generous chickens within our friendly community, and that the deep and respectful relationship that has been cultivated over the years between our worlds continues to thrive."

You know, I am certainly opposed to the ways chickens are raised for food. Those conditions are deplorable. But give me a break. I keep trying to tell myself that this is a joke. But between growing up in Eugene and living in Santa Fe, I know this is not. This reminds of the great political debate of a few years ago somewhere in California, I think it might have been in Hollywood but it could have been Santa Cruz, over whether the keepers of animals could legally be called their "owners." Very important issue here people. I'm glad that with all the oppression in the world, some of us have found really important issues to focus in on, such as the way chickens are portrayed in the media.