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  • Edition: 00
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2012-11-17
  • Publisher: FRWHEEL

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Framedby the author's personal experience with backyard hens, Chickens: Their Natural and Unnatural Histories explores thehistory of the chicken from its descent from the dinosaurs to the space-agepresent. En route, Lembke surveys chickens in ancient Greece, the Middle Ages,the Renaissance, the nineteenth century, and modern times, including the roleof chickens in Jewish and Muslim practices. She also investigates the birds'contributions to science and their jaunty appearances in literature. Eggsreceive a chapter of their own, as does chicken cuisine, comprising recipesfrom the Roman Empire to today's favorites.Stories about chickens appear, too, often written by those who keep them,including the painter Grandma Moses, the man who holds Cleveland's Farm AnimalPermit No. 17, and Brenda, who had to give her young roosters a talking-to forbehaving like sheep. Chickenshave only recently come to a sorry pass in the Western world, where broilersand laying hens are factory-farmed. Lembke investigates the fate of such birdsand explores the sustainable, humane alternatives to raising birds for meat andeggs. Acelebration of the chicken in its every aspect, Chickens is sure to delight the chicken fancier, the backyardchicken keeper, and everyone concerned about where our food comes from and howwe can treat animals more compassionately.

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