Truths of a Chicken Dinner This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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Life bursts from genetically modified eggs.
Innocent chicks, unaware of the journey ahead,
chomp beaks within the first day of life.

Life proceeds perilously.
Cages for one cram with five.
No place for waste, chicken live in feces.
There’s not enough food, and battles break for one morsel.  

Life ends, billions of chickens’ throats slit,
hung by their feet, awaiting release.
The soon-to-be main course lived a painful life,
with an end containing just as much torment:
smothered, slaughtered, skinned, and sold.

Life surpasses the grave when Mother purchased the pink, raw package of the departed. 
Placed into a cart, scanned, and home for consumption,
spices dance across dead flesh. Knives slice.
Planted in a hot pan, the chicken is cooked until safe, skin seared.
The chicken, once full of life,
lays on a platter.

Life changes for those who know the harsh reality.
As a family sits around a table, they indulge in the chicken’s demise.
Forks and knives scrape plates.
Chins dripping with juices that ooze from the corpse.
The family enjoys their savory protein.
All but the one who knows the truth.
All but the one who sees the terror in that chicken’s journey.
All but the one whose heart hurts for the life of torment that very chicken suffered.

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