Thoughts about Chicken Embryos
Human beings tend to speak only of equality among all classes of human beings.Never do we look at a chicken in a barn and say, “We are equals, we are connected.” Because to us, that chicken is nothing more than a delicious burger we’re going to eat for lunch that day. Or just another farm animal if we’re vegetarian.
It is in our nature to remain oblivious to all things beyond our own little worlds. I look at a picture of two embryos and both have striking similarities. Both have a tiny tail hanging from one end, and admittedly both look like aliens from a science fiction movie.
One will develop to become an incredibly intelligent organism equipped with the ability to think critically and solve problems. The other will inevitably get served at the local KFC.
Both are resting inside their mothers, warm and protected from the outside world. They haven’t been forced into different bodies yet. Their genes have yet to fully express themselves. These embryos are just life. Not chicken life, not human life- just life.
When I look at these pictures, I am struck by the connectedness between all living organisms.
Because that is what the study of evolution is, it is the search for the web that connects us all- the anatomical similarities beneath the constructs “animal” and “human”.
Evolution teaches us that chickens aren’t happy meals-to-be. They are vertebrates like we are, starting out in life just like we do.