23 May I found a dead body on the garbage
Yesterday, I found a dead body in the garbage.
It was a hen. If “hen” is an unfamiliar word to you, the reality I saw is sadly common in our 2019 society. The animal I saw used to be a bird. It used to have wings, it used to have affiliative bonds with its relatives, it used to have a head, and it used to have feathers. I saw it wrapped in plastic, on a cardboard plate where it was printed “BIO” together with other words. There was a sticker on the plastic with some numbers printed on it: “19.83”. That was the price of his life to me, to you, and to all the people that refuse to buy it. The animal had been dead for more than a week probably, and his corpse hadn’t started to decompose. The animal is known as chicken in most supermarkets.
I wouldn’t have imagined that the death of a chicken could affect me so much.
Thousands of beings are killed every second. In about 30 seconds, a million fishes would be having his last breath. In about a minute 100.000 chickens will be gone. But for me, one was enough.
It was almost unrecognizable. Without the head, without feet, without wings, without feathers, without life. It is extremely unfair for the chickens of this planet to be shown in schools and kid’s books as animals walking around the farm. That is a lie. It would be a much accurate and truthful picture to show them as they are, dead and exposed in supermarket shelves.
When I take too long siestas at too weird hours, I have a transcendental feeling that makes me perceive life as a very deep and intense experience from which I am not going to escape alive. I notice myself breathing, my body lying around the duvet, and my mind strangely awake. I listen to the sounds with a precise intensity, with a heavy clarity. In those seconds between a dream and reality, I realize that I am awake and that I am dying. I feel a pressure in my chest that confirms that my consciousness will vanish, and nothing will be left of my existence on this planet. A tough realization.
Yesterday, I found a dead hen in the trash.
I don’t know if the hen had similar sensations to mine. No idea if she questioned what the purpose of her existence was while she was at the slaughterhouse. I saw a virtual reality video of the life of a hen in a vegan fair. Don’t know if the chicken I found remembered how all her brothers were killed seconds after birth, just because they were males.
I don’t know if she remembered any of the miseries of her life jailed in a hatchery; the endless food filled with antibiotics; her respiratory problems due to the feces that were never withdrawn; the pain in her articulations because of the overweight; the constant fights for having a vital space with her mates of hatchery. I don’t know if it had any sense to remember all that suffering if, after all, her destiny was already traded. Before the conception, she was going to be a supermarket product.
Unluckily, what the accountants couldn’t calculate was that her life could have been saved.
Her life of pain and suffering could have been avoided. The humans that estimated the consumption of chicken in the supermarket could have been a bit more conservative and saved some lives.
I was about taking it home, so at least, I could use her corpse to feed my body and avoid the consumption of other living beings and the economic reward to a system that sometimes seems hopelessly doomed. When I found it, the expiration date of the chicken body had been three days ago. I am not willing to discuss expiration dates now; you can google it and check how edible are expired aliments. However, a dead body is a good dwelling for bacteria unfriendly to my organism. I observed the body for some seconds, thinking about what the purpose was of having produced such an endless chain of suffering to an animal just to be thrown in the garbage. It left me speechless.
I couldn’t process all the information that I was seeing just by being in front of a beheaded and plucked hen wrapped in plastic. Humans are the worst being that has ever inhabited this planet. Nature is amoral, but we are monsters. We are monsters.
Using some Jungian ideology, if we are not able to confront our darkest areas, our shadows, the hidden, monstrous and heinous parts of ourselves, we will never get rid of them.
Yesterday, I found a piece of our collective shadow, beheaded, plucked, footless, and wrapped in plastic.
Its price, 19.83€.
(I also found some eggs. At least, those will become an omelet.)