Setting: Lennons hotel Brisbane,
The waiter takes my order
As a single diner
I have chosen a smaller table
Beside the only other smaller table
With two guys seated a shoulders width over
I begin to tune in to their conversation
Certainly can’t tune it out
They are very loud spoken
The different accent plays on my ear
It doesn’t matter
One is built like he lifts a gym every morning
The other is lean, clean and has a slightly boring balding beige vibe
Nothing against balding
It’s how you wear it
I’m just describing
The mans aesthetic
Hat on backwards leans in
Elbows rocking the table
“So tell me about these chickens”
Beige guy suddenly turns into a rainbow
Ignited by his passion
He knows all about them
My granola arrives
As I listen to these two guys
For the next twenty minutes
In the middle of this city restaurant
As they run through the procedure of collecting eggs
Phone photos displayed of beige guys hen house
And all manner of chicken names flow around me
(He has names for all his ladies)
Meanwhile my brain is conjuring up what I now know about chooks
Thanks to too many Vegan documentaries and books
(You can’t un see once you’ve seen em – I curse my curious brain because actually…I used to love eggs and found backyard hens a delight)
The chicken industry is female biased
Every day millions of chickens are hatched
Little fluff balls
Clustering around artificial lights
Their mothers are nowhere in sight
This is their first love
The artificial light
After a period of 6-8 weeks
Sex is determined
The male chicks
Who have no purpose
Are usually terminated
The thought is putting me off my breaky
I’m pulled out of my morbid reverie by excited laughter
“They are all such characters – with these personalities, like humans, once you get to know them – they are the sweetest things – so curious”
says beige guy …
“Wow that’s so cool my daughter loves animals – I was thinking of getting her a bunny”
Not in Queensland mate their illegal
But I don’t say it
I don’t say anything
It’s none of my business
I’m just describing a scene
They order the Eggs Benedict
And I think about that glass ceiling
They love us when it comes to breeding
16 thoughts on “Eggs Benedict and the glass ceiling (prose)”
Yikes, my kids just got 4 hens and a rooster! Now I feel bad.
Chooks are great for kids Elle – they are such beautiful kind little things – well apart from roosters – I have been chased by a few of them. Please don’t take my poem as a judgement on how anyone should live. I never thought about the deeper things of motherhood and animals and breeding and feminist principles etc before I read books on the subject.
When we moved out of town the first thing I wanted was backyard chooks and they are beautiful creatures particularly for kids. Don’t feel bad about it – enjoy them. I wish I could unthink and unsee and unread but I can’t. So I go on – this wasn’t written to make anyone feel bad – it was written to unravel something I was thinking about following this little breakfast session – like most of my poetry it is a lesson for me not a lecture for others. ❤️
I had no idea that, in the poultry industry, the male chicks are terminated as useless.
Rosaliene I never realised either. Just never thought about it.
In wholesale egg production they don’t feed what doesn’t lay eggs. Roosters are sometimes used in the meat industry but not always as they tend to produce a different quality meat.
Either way it is terribly female biased.
In the same way male calves in the dairy industry are mostly killed young (veal) they are useless because they do not produce milk and the economics do not support feeding animals that serve no purpose.
Either way calves are taken away from their mothers straight away – as a mother myself and knowing what wonderful loving mothers cows are …just couldn’t do it anymore.
What a species we are!!!
“Capable of so much more” read the report card. Very frustrating.
So well written, it was nice to “over hear” the chickens have personalities ❤️ I only found out last year rabbits were illegal as pets in Qld, I like how you told us you thought it but didn’t say 😊
I used to have red hens and my goodness they were all so different that even though they looked the same I knew who was who and what was what. Beautiful girls all so I know why people fall in love with them.
Oh that is so lovely ❤️
Maybe a little offtrack but I really want to say these things after reading your poem and the experience you shared. Yes it is everyone’s individual choice whether they eat chicken or not but it really devastates me to think about how these animals are treated. So many of them being produced using artificial methods and which meat is not even good for our health. I also do love having chicken and I still do but I have no choice right to cut it off entirely. I hope to do it one day. I just felt like saying all these things to you. Anyways thanks for sharing this lovely post.
Best wishes from The Strong Traveller and have a great day.
Do have a look at my blog whenever you find the time. There are some travel and lifestyle content which you may find interesting. Your thoughts will surely be very valuable. Stay connected. 😊
Hi – Thankyou for your thoughts and I’m so glad that you feel strongly about these dear animals. I hope you do make the switch eventually because plants taste awesome and there is so much variety that you will never miss meat – but you will do it in your own time. It begins with awareness and that the reason I share information. I will certainly check your blog out and stay in touch 💜😊
Ignorance truly is bliss…..there’s so much I wish I could unlearn
Me too, I remember when I had none of the weight when making a decision.
As the current pandemic demonstrates, the almighty dollar is more important than even human life.
All life is sacred and if we began at the so called bottom in the insect kingdom and worked our way up through the food chain with the greatest of care…all life would be honoured. At the moment there is no depth, no breadth and it all disappears to easily. Money – we think we can’t do without it yet at the end of life we reach for hands and hearts of our loved ones – not more cash. This virus takes even that away – the lonely deaths due to risk of infection are so sad. Stay safe.