Rebekah’s post on her new, green-glam shopping bag sparked some sort of reaction in the random firing of neurons that passes for postpartum thought, resulting in me recalling a statement from Rod Dreher’s Crunchy Cons:
“Cheap chicken is not worth a compromised conscience.”
Obviously, he was stumping for chicken rights: Buy free-range, organic chickens, preferably purchased from local farmers, rather than the ones that lived what were undoubtedly nasty, brutish, short, and unnatural lives before ending up in Hy-Vee’s cooler case.
Now, it’s been awhile since I read the book, but I recall it as compelling. Life-changing, even. But some of his arguments caused me significant angst, which I could not resolve to my satisfaction and therefore dealt with through the ever-healthy psychological technique of repression. Well, not quite. But it’s true that I wasn’t quite sure what to do with some of the information, and with cheap chicken hanging on my conscience, I thought maybe y’all could help me out here.
More particularly, the crunchy lifestyle Dreher so passionately and (to me) convincingly advocates seems inevitably to collide with the CSPP gig, particularly for those of us raising families on one more-or-less fixed income. I can’t speak definitively about his position on this, but the gist as I perceived it was that although humans are indeed foremost among God’s creation, stewardship means that concern for creation might limit family size to the point where you can afford to live in a responsibly crunchy way. So: what’s a good response to this?
Again, I’m remembering this through a haze of time and hormones (postpartum as well as those ingested from all the nonorganic food I’ve consumed), so I can’t recall precisely why I found this so compelling—but he makes a good case, and I think there is a tension here.
But for now, if you see a store advertising the 79-cents-a-pound sale on chicken, you'll find me there, buying one for the week and one for the freezer.
I know this general topic has more or less been kicked around on this blog before, and I’m resigned to, as usual, doing what we can with what we’ve got. But that cheap chicken suddenly got heavy around my neck again when I recalled the Dreher quote…
‘God save thee, ancient Mariner,
From the fiends that plague thee thus! -
Why look'st thou so?' -"With my crossbow
I shot the Albatross.”
He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.