Thursday, April 20, 2006

Chicken Wars by Jack & Anne Rudloe

“Chicken Wars” by Jack & Anne Rudloe

Book Review

by Richard E. Noble

Well, if you are anything like me, you have been asking yourself for decades when - oh please God when - will somebody come along who will stand up for the rights of the American processing chicken?
Finally ... finally, at long last, a book is here for all of us chicken lovers and we owe it all to the very creative and imaginative efforts of Jack and Anne Rudloe - our well known and well documented panhandle resident biologists.
What a book! I loved it. Anne and Jack truly take up the cause of chickenhood everywhere. Superchicken has arrived and he is armed and dangerous - and very funny.
Superchicken, Augustus Herkissing (formerly, in a previous life - Henry Kissinger) the champion of chickens everywhere, has been sent to our present day world via a heavenly council. He has been sent to earth to free the chickens and lead them to the Promised Land.
Kissinger - I mean Herkissing is at first appalled at the thought of being reincarnated as a chicken, but after getting his feathers he takes up the role courageously.
He is found floating down the Lockaloukee River by adorable little Jennifer and her chicken rancher daddy. The brave little Herkissing gets the country folks attention by standing up to a menacing hawk.
At this point the initial conflict begins. Tenderbird, the chicken processing giant, does not tolerate their chicken farmers or members of their families harboring any pet chickens. And from this point onward the story evolves into a classic tale of adventure, culminating in a massive nationwide chicken revolution.
I am not going to tell you the whole story - it will be a lot more fun for you to read it yourself.
On the serious side, the book points out and graphically describes the true and horribly inhumane state of affairs that exists all over America and, I dare say, the world with regards to present day civilization’s methods of rendering what were once barnyard livestock into food for the masses.
Since my wife and I were both one time chicken factory employees - Carol in hearts and livers and Richard snipping gizzards - we know the story first hand. We have seen it all up close and personal. What the Rudloes describe is no exaggeration, no far-flung “humaniac” melodramatic fabrications. So if you would like to know “the other side of the story” or garner a more insightful view of the evolution of the grocery store chicken or the boneless, skinless chicken breast that you have grown to know and love from watching the Galloping Chef on the cooking channel, pick up a copy of “Chicken Wars” by Anne and Jack Rudloe. It’s an eye-opener, besides being a hen house full of fun.
In addition, this book is packed full of information about the local outdoors - the birds, the bees, the katydids, the cicadas etc. It is not the conventional philosophy of the tree-hugging humaniac. There is even a defense of Cock Fighting, not to mention the heavenly glory of the backyard chicken bar-be-que and chicken eating in general. It is the work of two very practical minded animal lovers.
The whole point of the book is that the human race has lost its contact with the Great Agreement. Like Rousseau’s Social Contract this is a supposed agreement between animals and man that took place when Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden. It was a simple Agreement in which some of the animals decided to join domestically with the humans while the others, less trusting of human nature, decided to weather the perils of the wild. In the Agreement humans agreed to love the animals and treat them with decency and respect, in return for their fellowship and contributions to their food supply. Of course, Mankind via Agribiz has grossly violated this Agreement - thus the necessity for a Divinely inspired Super Chicken.
This is a fascinating book - great for the kids; great for the adults; and a laugh a minute for the intellectually inclined. You can purchase this book on line for $14.95 at or pick up a copy at the following locations: Downtown Books in Apalachicola, Tattered Pages in Crawfordville, Borders Bookstore in Tallahassee (Apalachee Parkway) and, if you take a trip over to The Gulf Marine Laboratory in Panacea, Jack and Anne will be more than happy to autograph a copy for you.

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