friendly chicken at the vegan pool party
Saturday, July 2 2005
On the way back from a housecall in Stone Ridge I picked up another load of sand and then successfully forded the Esopus with it, returning home on Hurley Mountain Road, the main north-south road west of the Esopus in Central Ulster County. I guess this means that today was not the day that I drove past a crazy scene on US 209 just south of Hurley (and east of the Esopus). That scene involved a bunch of state troopers who had pulled over a car and cuffed a man, who was sitting on the ground behind his rear bumper looking at his feet with shame as all the cars crawled by, each swerving slightly as the driver averted his gaze from the car in front of him. It was the first time I'd ever experienced gridlock caused by rubbernecking in Ulster County.
This afternoon I went to a poolside party in Woodstock today at the residence of C&K, the photogenic vegan Buddhists. Only about twelve people were there, but it was still something of a who's who of Woodstock veganism. (I might have been the only non-vegan there.) It can often be dismal hanging out at social functions with people so singularly committed to exactly one cause. Everything inevitably comes back to veganism. For example, a discussion of movies or music always tends to linger on the artists or actors who are vegan while the others are usually not even be mentioned. But at least these folks were aware that they were doing it and even joked about it.
I should stand back for a moment and specify that I will never be able to fully relate to the righteous absolutism of veganism, with its oft-celebrated sorties into unpragmatic specifics. Much of animal rights itself is contaminated with such adolescent idealism, but there's enough good being done there that I don't consider it a waste of effort. If I didn't feel that way, I'd be experiencing serious cognitive dissonance given how much of our household income goes into animal rights causes.
Others brought their dogs to the pool party, but not me. Later, when someone showed up with her pet chicken, I was glad I hadn't. Sally and Eleanor are pretty good with most cats and large farm animals, but there's something a little too preylike about a chicken, particularly an adolescent broiler hen, for them to contain their predatory instincts. That chicken was amazingly social and outgoing, the chicken equivalent of Eleanor, systematically going from person to person as we ate our vegan dinner and roosting in each of our laps, singing little songs all the while. What a happy chicken! What a lucky chicken! Supposedly someone saved her from a factory farm situation. This kept her from going through the KF process and ending up in a cardboard bucket bearing the stenciled likeness of a dead Kentucky racist. Jeez, now I'm hungry.
I never did swim in the pool, so no one got a chance to see either the body one gets from months of carrying armloads of stone or the mysterious rash I'm developing just in front of my left armpit.
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