This is a chicken.
I did not raise this chicken.
I did not kill this chicken.
But I did cook and eat this chicken.
About 10 days ago Colin's cousin sent me this Peggy Orenstein article from the New York Times. It was called "The Femivore's Dilemma," and it stopped me cold. This line said it all: "Apparently it is no longer enough to know the name of the farm your eggs come from; now you need to know the name of the actual bird." Orenstein describes several friends of hers from Berkeley who, in addition to plucking their salad greens direct from kitchen gardens, have also built chicken coops to raise their own poultry.
The piece has been floating around in my head since I read it, making me a little itchy, a touch ill at ease. Am I a femivore? Well, let's see. I am a feminist, and I do believe in paying very careful attention to the source of my food. I shop at the farmers' market, buy organic dairy, and pepper my fish purveyor with questions about his salmon and shrimp.
But there's a lot I don't do.
I don't can (I'm too wimpy), or buy my meat direct from a farmer. I don't compost, don't make my own yogurt, don't nurture a sourdough starter. And I don't raise chickens.
So I'm kind of caught between two worlds: on the one hand, I want to be mainstream, want to be "normal" so my kids aren't embarrassed when I make a fuss about the lunches served at school. On the other hand, I want to remain true to my core values, to speak up, and to share my strong views.
So where does this leave me? What am I?
A feminist omnivore, but not quite a femivore.
A semi-crunchy but not fully-green, environmentally-conscious-but-not-100%-committed environmentalist.
A school food advocate who's willing to speak up and promote change, but unwilling to burn bridges.
A left-of-center mother who doesn't want to be so left that her kids are ostracized by their peers or their peers' parents.
Wait! I got it!
I know what I am!