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10 January 1999 Issue

Chicken Prayer

by David Everett

Oh Lord,
For this morsel of flesh taken from a chicken born motherless by mechanical
incubation and deprived of maternal cuddling;
Whose toes were chopped off at birth to prevent immobilized feet from growing
into the wire mesh floor;
Whose beak was burned off, searing the delicate nostril tissue, to prevent
hysterical pecking when the madness of crowding sets in;
Whose sedentary body was artificially fattened on barnyard offal laced with
steroids, hormones, and antibiotics;
Whose thirst was quenched on the swill of the creature's own recycled waste;
Whose features fell to skin inflammations in the dank and prolonged darkness;
Whose spine dislocated under premature weight and mineral deprivation;
Whose body bubbled with cancerous growths, adding to it's market weight;
And whose existence from hatch to slaughter was one of unrelenting horror;
I wish to thank Thee for permitting me to eat of the tormented flesh as I
incorporate it into the temple of my soul;
And beseech Thee to overlook my participation in the perpetuation of the
technological nightmare inflicted on one of the innocent creatures of Eden.

-- In Christ's name. Amen

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