Friend of the sanctuary and author of the brilliant Elephants on the Edge Gay Bradshaw has published an insightful critique of Amber Hansen’s art project, The Story of Chickens: A Revolution on her Psychology Today blog. Here’s the link:
As Bradshaw reports:
Over a several week period, the artist proposed to display five chickens around town in a coop, then publically slaughter the birds and serve them up to the community.
She asks us to believe that confining five sentient beings against their will, in cages vulnerable to anything and anyone, summarily executing, eviscerating, butchering, and eating them at a community potluck comprises “building a relationship with . . . beautiful and unique creatures” that “transform[s] the contemporary view of chickens as livestock.”
Bradshaw then turns to Robert Lifton’s study of perpetrators of the holocaust, in which he discovered a kind of “doubling” of consciousness that allowed some to perpetrate atrocities while considering themselves kind people, to explain what might be going on in the mind of this “artist,” linking this all up to the recent shooting spree in Afghanistan.
Read it for yourself to see what you think of these ideas. Do they help us to understand the psychology of locavore “backyard birds” and “happy meat”? If so, what could we do with this information?