A Little Chicken? ~ Jonathan Witherspoon Huey

Via elephant journal
on Aug 19, 2012
get elephant's newsletter
Photo credit: Ann Larie Valentine

As spokesman for the silent millions of chickens in industrial slaughterhouses at present, for those numberless chicken multitudes of the past and for the endless slaughter to come, I tell you that they have not, do not presently and will never give a damn about your self-righteous indignation.

Moreover, the thought of y’all lining up outside a fast-food chain because you think it symbolizes something and represents a certain moral fortitude and strength of conviction in the public sphere—well, they couldn’t give a cluck about that either.

As baby chicks gather at the feet of one whom, with outstretched and loving hand scatters seeds, so do your own children gather in a cheap plastic booth & eagerly devour the pulverized remains of baby chicks.

Chickens are a forgiving species even as they are cut down and their lives stamped out before the evening meal.

But they don’t forgive stupidity and they hate the thought of being eaten by a person who believes, through some Chik-fil-A variation on transubstantiation, that the deity in whose presence all hearts are naked and utterly exposed, would look down with pride on these multitudes in Arkansas and Oklahoma and the Great State of Texas and Mississippi too, lined up around the block, mouths watering for chicken flesh and an imperial pint of high-fructose anything, sweaty dollars in denim pockets, the smell of the sweat of their bodies in the summer sun, the good order of the line they form across the parking lot, their dignity, courage and warm-heartedness radiating through myriad strip-malls for all to see; that the deity would think this display in some way brings about the divine will on earth and that those who take part signify anything more than an already established consumer habit loosely joining an alienated socially conservative patchwork to say:

“We are here and we believe marriage should be between a man and a woman, and by gawd, we are gonna take this here chicken as a sacrament and by the good-eatin’ of it, renew our covenant with Christ.”

Well, the chickens I know around the block are calling bull-shite on that.

Jonathan Witherspoon Huey is a working-class poet living in Boulder, Colorado and was born and raised in the Great State of Texas. His first book, Automatic Zygote, is available through BlazeVox Press. He can be spotted behind the espresso bar at Folsom Street Coffee Co.



Editor: Jamie Morgan

Like elephant enlightened society on Facebook. 


About elephant journal

elephant journal is dedicated to "bringing together those working (and playing) to create enlightened society." We're about anything that helps us to live a good life that's also good for others, and our planet. >>> Founded as a print magazine in 2002, we went national in 2005 and then (because mainstream magazine distribution is wildly inefficient from an eco-responsible point of view) transitioned online in 2009. >>> elephant's been named to 30 top new media lists, and was voted #1 in the US on twitter's Shorty Awards for #green content...two years running. >>> Get involved: > Subscribe to our free Best of the Week e-newsletter. > Follow us on Twitter. Fan us on Facebook. > Write: send article or query. > Advertise. > Pay for what you read, help indie journalism survive and thrive—and get your name/business/fave non-profit on every page of elephantjournal.com. Questions? Send to [email protected]


2 Responses to “A Little Chicken? ~ Jonathan Witherspoon Huey”

  1. tulasipriya says:

    Politics aside, that is one smokin' piece of writing. Thank you.

  2. Beautifical. I was going through your f.b. wall to copy & paste this for fellow-writer promotin' love. I didn't realize you'd gotten this on the lovely and ennobling E.J.!

    "Wonderful, ah, wonderful."

    Mmm, Goenka.

    See you around FSC, and beyond!