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Why Did the Chicken Cross the World?: The…

Why Did the Chicken Cross the World?: The Epic Saga of the Bird that…

by Andrew Lawler

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Quite enjoyable story about the world's most populous (and popular) bird. Everything you wanted to know about chickens but didn't want to ask, including how the chicken originated from a fierce jungle fowl in South-East Asia, how it spread to the Middle East & the West before the time of Christ (there were chickens already in Britain when the Romans arrived), how centuries of tampering with breeds have produced today's meat & egg producing machines, and how some people are fighting to restore the industrialised bird to its more natural form. Along the way there are excursions to Filipino cockfights, mass chicken sacrifices by Hasidic Jews in New York, vast chicken meat producing factories in the South and Vietnamese villages where all black chickens (that's feather, blood & bones) are highly prized. The author tends to jump back & forth between time periods which is somewhat jarring, but overall this is an entertaining mix of popular science and social history. Well worth reading. ( )
  drmaf | Jun 4, 2017 |
I saw this in the library and thought, 'a book about chickens?' So, of course, I had to pick it up. It's not that I'm overly interested in chickens, it's just that I couldn't believe anyone would write one for...well, people who weren't. I figured it was a joke. Nope, it's about chickens, and it's not as dull as you might assume. In fact, if you're a chicken fancier, this book is probably a must. It's well-written, has enough science and history to interest general readers, and discloses several facts I know I wasn't familiar with before. ( )
  DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
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"Throughout the history of civilization, humans have embraced it in every form imaginable--as a messenger of the gods, powerful sex symbol, gambling aid, emblem of resurrection, all-purpose medicine, handy research tool, inspiration for bravery, epitome of evil, and, of course, as the star of the world's most famous joke. In [this book], science writer Andrew Lawler takes us on an adventure from prehistory to the modern era with a fascinating account of the partnership between human and chicken--the most successful of all cross-species relationships"--… (more)

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