Everywhere There’s Lots of Chickens, Leading Chicken Lives…

As if he hadn’t already done enough to woo me, what with all those songs that changed the world and defined my life, now Paul McCartney has to go and show compassion for little chickens.

Thanks to Go Veg for this quote, and for this useful information about the intellectual capacity of a chicken:

“Chickens understand sophisticated intellectual concepts, learn from watching each other, demonstrate self-control, worry about the future, and even have cultural knowledge that is passed from generation to generation. Dr. Chris Evans, who studies animal behavior and communication at Macquarie University in Australia, says, ‘As a trick at conferences, I sometimes list these attributes, without mentioning chickens, and people think I’m talking about monkeys.’”

My girls worry about the future? What do they worry about? Supreme Court nominees? The inequitable tax structure? Peak oil and its implications on the future availability of chicken scratch?

The only thing that keeps me from bringing them in to roost along my bedpost at night is the belief that they don’t worry about things–that they are chickens, and as such, they roost in the rafters and scratch in the dirt and live in the moment and don’t feel the dark weight of the world upon them and don’t need to be comforted by the sound of their loved ones breathing next to them in the night to get through it all.

And what’s this about cultural knowledge that’s passed from generation to generation? If Eleanor had a brood, would she teach her youngsters to fear the lids of cardboard boxes (we have no idea what this is about) and check my pockets for apple cores? Would the little peeps learn that they have nothing to fear from cats, but have every reason to duck for cover when the Fed Ex plane flies over at five in the afternoon?