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4 October 2012
CHICKEN WISDOM: Calling for an Audience with Mr. Joy

chicken by annie potts Chicken by Annie Potts: Review by Karen Davis


Karen Davis’s review of Chicken appears in the Fall 2012 issue of Humanimalia: a journal of human/animal interface studies, Volume 4, Number 1. http://www.depauw.edu/humanimalia/

Excerpt from Karen’s Review:

“Potts traces a persistent tension in the human relationship with chickens. On the one hand, chickens have been accurately and appreciatively portrayed in literature and the arts; on the other hand, chickens have been trapped in anthropomorphic symbolisms and superstitions that have nothing to do with chickens except in a distorted, speciesist way. In cockfighting and religious rituals, chickens are tortured, killed and characterized by practitioners as wanting to be sacrificed to human and deific desires.

“As bad as industrialization has been for chickens, people have been assaulting chickens for ages ― in staged cockfights, blood fiestas, voodoo rituals, Hindu massacres, kaporos ceremonies, and more. Chickens deemed “sacred” disappear into symbolic, sacrificial designations and uses that are as obliterating of their actual selves, as grisly and demeaning to them, as their disappearance into meat is.” To go straight to Chicken Wisdom, click on

Author Annie Potts is a professor of English and Cultural Studies and Co-Director of the New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch.

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