27 March 2006

Nos iuguolo pullus. Nos iuguolo pullus verus bonus!

Originally uploaded by erueti_welly.
I eat chicken. Quite a bit really. It's not uncommon for us to chow down on different configurations of the fowl 4 or 5 times in 1 week. So yeah, you could say that we're doing our bit for the chicken.
But as you know worldwide we are all eating a lot of this bird. I mean we really go for broke don't we? Can we really eat that much poultry? Apparently yes, and be greedy enough to grab another collective wing, thigh or strip of skin before we are willing to call it a day.
A little bit of googling gave me information which, though insightful, was not actually what I was looking for. Did you know, for instance, that the domestic chicken is the most common bird in the world? That in 2003, there were an estimated 24 billion chickens worldwide - almost all of them raised for their meat and eggs. And that Canadians chicken farmers produced 934 million kilograms of chicken in 2003 which is approximately 467 million birds!

Blah blah blah right? Where the hell am I going with this one you're maybe wondering? Well I'm not trying to put you or myself off our chicken for dinner tonight - that's the 1st thing. And you can rest assured this is not going to end with a link and a spirited action to come join the Animal Liberation Front with me. I just had a few queries as to what the 'final solution' for the chicken is? How do they process that much chicken? I mean I know it sounds naive, but maybe some very small operations still employ people to process these chickens by hand. However, I couldn't imagine what possible skills an employee in this kind of 'hands on' line of work stood to gain that could be translated easily into any other trade - Seeing as your only skill would be that of 'I kill chickens. I kill chickens real good'. I'm pretty sure the modern world would have moved on by now.
And moved on we most certainly have Dear reader. A quick search of 'chicken processing' and 'history of chicken processing' lead me to many claims from small operations proudly announcing 'Over 200,000 pounds of chicken per week move through our processing facility and are distributed overnight to our customers'. 200,000 pounds per week? yes 'they kill chickens. They kill chickens real good'.
Some times I've noticed, the more things change the more things stay the same.

What I really want to know is this. With the age we live in, where profit is a function of expense, loss, and revenue and the efficiency ratio of a business being expenses as a percentage of revenue, someone must be making a killing out of finding better, cheaper and faster ways for us to cram this bird into our gobs. So let's focus on that for a little moment. Do you mean to tell me somewhere in some science lab or manufacturing plant it's someone job to experiment in breakthrough cutting edge chicken processing technology? How would you, for instance, go about such a task? I mean surely all the good methods out there done aren't they? Is it a case of reinventing the wheel. Or does the adage "There's more than one way to skin a cat" also apply to our feathered friends?
Okay then so let's say it's your job and you've thought about it all day when suddenly at 3 in the morning an epiphany strikes you like a bolt of lightning. A better way to kill a chicken. And it's brilliant, completely revolutionary and promises to propel humankind into a brave new era where we can finally and unequivocally state "We kill chickens! We kill chickens real good!" What do you do next? Make the thing and toss a chicken in? I think not! Maybe a mad scientist would go around throwing chickens willy nilly but not here. Here we do tests tests tests! For results results results! Which all sounds right to me because if you want to bring this new machine out of beta you need to make damn sure not only does it kill chickens but it kills them really good.
Surely you can see the problems here. For example, I can imagine a steel type box where chickens are, um, herded into, all standing up straight and looking around when. Wham! A guillotine swooshes by and very quickly and effectively relieves them of their thoughts at that precise moment in time. How would you know how effective your machine was? What if a couple of hens amazed by their feet, ducked just in time to miss the guillotine only to pop back up to wonder where every had suddenly gone to? How many chicken glitches like this would it take before you felt sure enough to approach the chicken processing illuminati with certainty, while quietly waiting for your nobel peace prize for humanitarian services to chickens?
What I'm saying is you can't go straight ahead and use real live chickens 1st can you? No one would allow a machine that's never actually killed a real chicken, start off its debut of despatching poultry with a real live chicken. Because you couldn't guarantee the success of it, let's face it, chicken murder over lets say attempted chicken murder. What you need is a sort of 'mock chicken' a 'stand by' chicken or 'default chicken'. One that you can put through the works knowing that even though it looks like a chicken and walks like a chicken it most definitely is not a chicken. What you need my friends is a "Test Crash Dummy Chicken".
This may be the origin or perhaps inspiration for the famous gag 'rubber chicken'. Which would be for me at least a sad end to my search for the truth of the matter.

I much prefer the notion that somewhere out there's a company catering to the expressed needs of a very exclusive and very small niche. So small you can't find any mention of them on the internet. One that must supply what must be a fantastic example of mankind's eternal quest for perfection. The perfect geek/hipster uber gift for someone who has everything. The Ultimate test crash dummy chicken. And of course I've just got to have one.

*Anyone who knows anything about this please please please either take pity on me and get me one or point me to where I need to go.

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By Erueti Brown with No comments

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