The Flaming Vegan

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The Chicken I Tried to Befriend
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The Chicken I Tried to Befriend

I remember this incident from my early childhood. I must have been about five or six years old when we had a special guest at our home. Someone had gifted a chicken to my father. I thought it was a pet. It was tied up in our backyard. I asked why it was tied, and I was told that it was because the chicken would jump around everywhere and destroy things around our home, because that was a chicken's nature.

I tried getting closer to it and initiating a friendship, but it was not happening. I immediately felt that the chicken was not happy or excited to be in this new home. Oh, how innocently I thought "Chickens are not friendly creatures"!

After a day or two, I returned from school and found that the chicken was gone. I was told that it was taken away but would come back. It did come back--in a bowl on our diningroom table. "That is what chickens are for," it was explained.

My questions about why could we not keep the chicken alive as a pet, and why we had to eat it, went unanswered. I was too young to realize that the food on my plate could be a walking sqwuaking animal.

It was all very hard to digest then, and it is hard to digest today. The chicken was tied up because otherwise, it would run for its life. It was not friendly with me because it knew it was about to die. I could feel the restlessness in its behavior that day. I can still feel what I felt that day, and it gives me goosebumps as I write.

Have you seen the living animals whose frozen bodies you buy from the store? Give it a try. See if you can see them on your plate after that experience. They are our co-habitants on this planet. Let's make them friends, not food!


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Image credit: Tobias Akerboom (at hutmeelz)

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  1. dianabart
    Love this Akanksha! I just had my cousin over for a visit and she said she is still eating chicken, haha.. maybe I'll share this with her., it's so true. Friends not food! -That's my saying! :) Voted and sharing!
    1. Akanksha
      Thanks Diana!
  2. Veganara
    Vote no 4. Yes, I loved this too! It reminds me of my childhood,when my parents used to keep chickens and geese, and kill them for food, which upset me at the time, but like you I was told "That' s what they are for." Pah!!!
    1. Akanksha
      Glad to see someone from miles away relating with me :)
  3. Shabs Online
    Shabs Online
    Very beautiful write-up and so very convincing.....chickens and infact, all animals are our fellow habitants are meant for our friendship and not the food plate! Voted #8
    1. Akanksha
      Thanks Shabs!
  4. Scott Desmond
    Hello Akanksha I am so happy to meet you. I am new to the world of vegan and I have found this site on many facebook account. I enjoyed your post so much. I grew up on a farm and we had chicken. I had a name for all of them. When my grandma served chicken for dinner I would run out and see who she killed. I would then leave the table and refuse to eat. This brings back memories to me. Thank you so much for sharing. I have over extended my votes today. I will be back tomorrow to vote for you. I have also promised 3 other people to vote fro them. Please wait I promise i will come again tomorrow and vote. I think I will be here everyday reading and learning from all the people who have taken so much of their time to share their recipes and posts here. This is a great site and I can not wait to tell more of my friends about this one. I want to ask so many of my friends to come here to learn about being vegtan. I am excited to have found this site. Thank you for all your time to write here and post for people who are new to being vegan. I look forward to reading more of your posts in the weeks and months to come.
    1. Akanksha
      Thanks for reading NoMeatVegan! I am glad you could relate to my story. PLease share this with people who eat meat and probably some of them will understand. Thanks a lot for your kind words and welcome to The Flaming Vegan. I would like to read something from you too!
      1. Scott Desmond
        I have returned to vote on this blog. Thank you for waiting for me.
  5. No Name
    Akanksha you are so right on this. Chicken should not be eaten no matter how hungry you are. I can not see preparing a live chicken ever. This one makes me sick. My younger brother took a job in a chicken factory and this cured him of ever eating chickens again. Hope more people who eat chicken will find a job like this one. I am sure they will never eat a chicken again. Thank you so much for sharing. Voted
    1. Akanksha
      Yes true...the more you start seeing them as creatures with life, the lesser you would want to eat them. Thanks for reading Naya!
  6. Anubhav Lal
    I had a somewhat similar experience with carrots in my kitchen garden in my childhood. Since then I am thinking why is it that God has not given human being chlorophyll so that we can make our own food from sunlight and do not have to eat other living beings or their by products like fruits, milk or eggs.
    1. Veganara
      That's a very good point Anubhav! It seems like a badly-ordered system where one species has to live off another. Are you Akanksha's brother? I wish my brothers would comment on my posts sometime! (They are not vegan or vegetarian though, so if they did comment it would only be to disagree with me!)
  7. BuddhasDelight
    oh this is so touching. i totally have similar stories from my youth. bless your heart and thank you for posting this. children are so smart and straight from the heart! voted. :) if you would like to check out my berried smoothie recipe, it's super yum. please vote if you like it. many thanks and thank you again for posting this story.
  8. Andrea Martin
    Andrea Martin
    Ugh. That is so awful. It always amazes to see the compassion in children. When do we lose that? Chickens are the most loving, gentle and intelligent animals. They are abused and killed by the millions. If dogs and cats were subjected to what farm animals go through, there would be outrage. There isn't any difference between a cat or a goat or a turkey. Dogs and cows are not different. All are capable of feeling whether we want to admit it or not. Please think about helping chickens: Let Vegan Farming be a louder voice than mainstream "kill farms." We can do it!


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