The Tahrir Chicken

Everyone understands that chickens are treated terribly. ‘Hell on earth’ say some of the industrialisation of the chicken farm. The grinding of chicks. The cages. The pecking. The pain.

Tasty chicken flesh holds surprising clout against the issue of sentience- the emotional sensations, which I’m convinced that chickens possess. These include ‘scared’ and ‘I want to live’. These statements are squawked not spoken.

Egyptians understood that they were treated terribly (tasty segue). Here’s Asmaa Mahfouz, who helped spark the Egyptian revolution, with this video. Their inertia too was perhaps linked to the cynical insistence that things don’t change (also the not wanting to be tortured and stuff).

So, I’ve settled on the possibility that it’s not power or even conviction that changes things. It’s being scared. The possibility of silence becomes so sickening for a person that they cannot exist to feel this. Everybody distract themselves somehow. Some do this with drink or food. Others with work or power, and some, the lucky few, take the issue itself, compromise their pride- and the concordant fear of failure, and try something.

Asma Mahfouz just made a sign. That’s all. Humanitarians, in all their manifestations, just said something. Perhaps not the cleverest or the most effective or the most important thing. However, they weren’t content to theorise, less ‘thoughtful’ then practical, these people tried something.

I should tell people that if they had to kill that chicken themselves, they’d probably be eating salad tonight.

Edward Said: one such pragmatist.

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