City Rejects “Art” Project’s Proposed Chicken Slaughter

Adonia David

Recently my hometown of Lawrence, KS found itself in the midst of a battle over whether five chickens should be slaughtered for an art project to take place in the city.  The project, by Amber Hansen, entitled “The Story of Chickens – A Revolution,” was to consist of a traveling chicken coop containing five heritage chickens that would be set up at various places in Lawrence.  Townspeople would interact with and care for the chickens, and at the end of the project the chickens were to be publicly slaughtered and served at a potluck the next day.

The purpose of the project was, admittedly, a good one.  Hansen wished to address the disappearance of the small farm and the disconnection most people have from the animals they eat.  She wanted to “transform the contemporary view of chickens as merely “livestock” to the beautiful and unique creatures they are, while promoting alternative and healthy processes of caring for them.”  The project hoped to allow the citizens of Lawrence to “visualize an urban landscape that is accommodating and accepting of the presence of animals.”

The project created a large amount of discussion with thoughtful people both advocating for, and opposing it (interspersed with a good number of people making snide comments).  Those who advocated for it, including some who are very concerned about animal welfare, felt that the message was necessary and that people should, indeed, connect with the meat they choose to eat.  Those opposed felt that there is no need, and no excuse, to kill living sentient beings in order to present a message.  Various comments regarding the project can be seen hereContinue reading