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I had to close my eyes for some of this, but liked the piece.

Marc Osten

Maybe I'm a bit on the deranged side but I love the image.

Josh Hoole

The kid had a knife which looked like a standard small kitchen knife and he cut the head clean off - a weird sight for a young & sheltered public school boy to watch!
I agree a guilty 'sorry' and an appreciative 'thank you' for the chicken is good...obviously one needs to say it before the head is off, otherwise that's just rude!

Marc Osten

Hey Josh - I may be more apt to say 'thank you chicken.' tell me more about the over-sealous kid. Did he twist the neck off or use a knife?

Josh Hoole

Thanks Marc, really enjoyed that, and your tantalising editing before the 'first incision'!

It reminded me of my gap year in Kenya 15 years ago when I helped the teachers' children catch their chicken (not an easy feat) and then watched the over-zealous kid swiftly cut the head clean off - a bit yucky.

My view is to say a quick 'Sorry, Chicken' then get on with the plucking, basting, butterflying and eating part.

Marc Osten

Thanks Joseph. What did you like about it?


great piece Marc!

Marc Osten

Got it Melanie. I love your comment "it feels much more like that is a justification for transgressions against the universe than actual description of higher order behavior."

We're so in sync girl...but you love rugby and love football. (soccer)


I base my thoughts on the principle that they have "will". In other words, they are not simply responding to stimuli and functioning on a "if-then" basis. They have distinct personalities (some are more social, some come to their names, others prefer certain treats) and show maternal, familial, and hierarchical relationships.

Sure, Christian doctrine can be very exclusive and places man at a pinnacle, but it feels much more like that is a justification for transgressions against the universe than actual description of higher order behavior. The news is just full of stories of people that are just a base and primitive as the mold on my boots...yet they have spirits?????

I like the magical description - it matches my wonder of the universe, and justifies why I am lax to discount the existence of spirits in creatures I really know so little about...

Marc Osten

So Melanie - Why do you think chicken 's have spirits? One thing I tried to discern in my discussion with Deo was about the dividing line on spirits. His articulation of what Christian doctrine states is that even dolphins and other higher order creatures also do not have 'spirits'.

I'm not sure about spirits in general and actually lean in the direction of no spirits at all BUT do admit that the world and universe is a magical place so maybe it's possible.

Marc Osten

Marta - It's interesting to think about this whole 'spirits' thing. I never knew about Muslims having a different view than Christians about that. As a spiritual atheist myself I'm confused by the whole thing myself.


Very good perspective - it is very important for people to understand where their food comes from and what is involved in getting it to the table...

I do believe chickens have a spirit. And thanks or recognition of that when you kill them only makes you more appreciative of your food. So I am with you on that one...

We try to offer ours the best "chicken life" while we have them, to balance out what happens in the end.

But I don't actually do the killing or processing - we take them to another farm for that. Having just recently come off total vegetarianism, I am not yet ready to turn dinner into a bloodsport...plus - gotta keep the butcher in business, no?

Marta Mora

I don't agree with Silver on the matter of spirits - I can't believe that humans are the only beings with a spirit. "If I eat the chicken, I should be able to kill it too" I wrestle with this notion all the time.
Bravo, this is fantastic Marc - definitely food for thought. See More

Marc Osten

Yes Claudia it is kinda tricky. My whole take is that even if there isn't a 'spirit' per se we should still always give thanks. I'm not sure there needs to be a 'thing' we give thanks to but to give thanks as a reflective moment is what I hope for. Make sense?

Spread the link to others who you think may benefit from seeing it. Thanks.



thanks for posting this marc! i get that not everyone would want to watch it but i agree with you that if we eat chicken we should be able to kill one, or at the very least be able to watch it happen once. i also agree with you that chickens have a spirit and to acknowledge that a bit before the slaughter would be nice. we did a whole ceremony on our land when we slaughtered our pigs. it's all still tricky business for sure!!

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