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Monday, March 23, 2009

Chicken Huggers

"Chicken huggers." That's a term T2 coined when he heard about a proposed "Chicken Empathy Museum" that PETA wanted to open in a closed Pilgrim's Pride processing plant. Shock of shocks, Governor Jindal politely declined the offer.

John Kelso had a funny piece about the museum in the Statesman. (I'm going to c/p the piece in its entirety, just in case the Statesman decides to archive the piece for no apparant reason).
PETA's "Chicken Empathy Museum" doesn't take off in Louisiana - surprise!

By John Kelso
Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sometimes you've got to figure the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals are just trying to get their name in the paper. And they're darned good at it.

It's looking like the "Chicken Empathy Museum" idea from PETA won't be happening in Louisiana any time soon.

Well, you know what, Sherlock? If you're looking for empathy in Louisiana, "chicken" shouldn't be the first word out of your mouth. This is a state where Popeye isn't a sailor, he's a guy who runs a drive-up chicken window. I mean, this is a part of the country where, when you say Oprah, they think you said "okra." This is a state where the Junior League cookbook has a recipe for possum.

Seriously, when PETA found out the old Pilgrim's Pride chicken processing plant in Farmerville, La., was closing, and Gov. Bobby Jindal wanted to spend $20 million of the state's money to help another company buy the place, PETA proposed the "Chicken Empathy Museum" as an alternative.

The museum would include a chicken cage-like playscape for the children that would show how cramped conditions are for the chickens. Sounds like a party.

Of course, Jindal didn't go for it. Although in Louisiana you could start up a Gumbo Empathy Museum and draw a crowd.

So what would the Chicken Empathy Museum have? A chicken wing?

"I guess the whole thing would be a chicken wing, right?" said Ashley Byrne, campaign coordinator for PETA. "Actually, we did plan to serve faux chickens, vegetarian chickens made from healthy plant protein in the museum restaurant, along with an array of other tasty vegetarian food."

When you can set a trotline for eggplant, tofu will become a hit in Baton Rouge. One thing that drives me crazy is the way vegheads flock — pun intended — to nonmeat products that are balled up to look like meat, such as the Tofurky. If vegetarians are dead set against meat, how come they want to eat vegetables hand-formed to look like critters?

"That's probably just a matter of familiarity," Ashley said. I still don't get it. Hey, you never see a meat eater take a squash and roll it up to look like a patty melt.

Oh well, it sounds like it would have been one heckuva chicken museum. "It would have an educational display highlighting facts about chickens," Ashley said. "They're intelligent animals with mental capabilities that are comparable to cats, dogs and even primates. In nature, mother hens cluck to their unborn chicks who chirp back from their shells."

Wow. The museum's amazing talking omelet display. And that's not all.

"As a gift from PETA, part of our proposal was that each visitor 12 years old and younger would have a plush chicken toy with a tag reading, 'I am not a nugget,' " Ashley said.

Hey, in Louisiana if it's not a cutlet, it's a nugget. Next time, try this stunt in New York City and maybe somebody will bite.
That's funny... "I am not a nugget." If I had chickens, I'd name one Nugget... or maybe all of them...

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