Skip to main content

Apparently This Matters: A rough month for chickens

Why did the chicken cross the road? Because it flew out of an overturned truck in Oregon this month!
Why did the chicken cross the road? Because it flew out of an overturned truck in Oregon this month!
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A truck carrying more than 5,000 chickens crashed in Salem, Oregon
  • PETA tried to erect a memorial statue for the chickens
  • Oregon Department of Transportation denied the statue
  • Also? A chicken foot in your pack of breasts

Editor's note: Each week in "Apparently This Matters," CNN's Jarrett Bellini applies his warped sensibilities to trending topics in social media and random items of interest on the Web.

(CNN) -- It's been a rough month for chickens.

Not that there's ever an especially good month when your only job on this planet is to sit around, get fat and occasionally pop out eggs.

It's kind of like living your entire life as a "Honey Boo Boo" cast member. But with a shred of dignity.

This particular rough month actually started trending two weeks ago when, early in the morning on July 9, a truck carrying more than 5,000 chickens overturned in downtown Salem, Oregon. Sadly, many of the poor little cluckers died. Others, perhaps stunned from the crash, just wandered aimlessly about the streets, suddenly free from captivity. Which must've been remarkably weird.

"Gertrude, is this heaven?"

"No. It's Salem."

The story quickly found its way around the Interwebs because, really, it has all the makings of must-see news.

\
"Apparently This Matters" Is Jarrett Bellini's weekly (and somewhat random) look at social-media trends.

Was there a big crash? Yes. Was there negligence involved? Possibly. Did hundreds of live animals on a roadway have to be rounded up by humans. Abso-freakin-lutely!

It was gold.

But just when the Salem truck story seemed to go away -- as oddball stories eventually do -- it magically came roaring back. All thanks to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).

In response to the crash, the organization proposed a 5½-foot-tall, 250-pound statue of a giant bloody chicken on crutches, memorializing the hundreds that perished in the crash. PETA hoped it could stand at the intersection near where the accident happened to alert livestock truckers to be extra careful and to remind motorists that "chickens are among the most abused animals on the planet."

PETA spokeswoman Shakira Croce added that "the best way to prevent crashes like this is to go vegan so that chickens don't have to make the trip to the slaughterhouse in the first place."

Personally, I love the idea. Mind you, not because of my politics -- when it comes to such matters, I have no opinion. But I do love absurd landmarks. And every city needs something delightfully wackadoo.

Like a big chicken.

Oddly enough, we actually have a big chicken right here in Atlanta's northern suburb of Marietta. We call it ... the Big Chicken.

The huge structure stands 56 feet high, rising into the air from a KFC. So, in a sense, it, too, is a monument to dead chickens. Dead chickens coated with 11 herbs and spices.

Metro Atlantans are really proud of Marietta\'s famous Big Chicken. It\'s pretty amazing.
Metro Atlantans are really proud of Marietta's famous Big Chicken. It's pretty amazing.

The best part about Marietta's Big Chicken is that people actually use it as a directional landmark.

"Make a left at the Big Chicken. Go one block up. And you'll find me on the sidewalk. I'll be the one not wearing pants."

So it's helpful. And I've actually seen it used in serious news stories. This is a real excerpt from a 2009 article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

"A Marietta police officer involved in a two-car accident Saturday afternoon is fine, according to police officials. The incident occurred around 3:25 p.m. at Cobb Parkway and Roswell Road in front of the Big Chicken."

Naturally, if you didn't know about the landmark, reading this would blow your mind.

"That must've been one crazy-ass chicken."

Unfortunately, PETA's Bloody Chicken of Salem statue was officially shot down this week by the Oregon Department of Transportation. Kevin Hottman, a city traffic engineer, noted that it's a congested area and the statue "would be a distraction and possibly a hazard."

So, now, chickens in Salem will just have to live in constant fear of another roadside tragedy while they're on their way to get slaughtered.

And speaking of chicken slaughter, there was another story that started trending this week. It was about an Arizona woman who found a chicken foot in a package of breast meat from Safeway.

Chicken foot mixed in with breasts - in other countries, this counts as a bonus.
Chicken foot mixed in with breasts - in other countries, this counts as a bonus.

The disgusted shopper tweeted, "Hey, @Safeway, does this look like 'chicken breast' to you? I'm vomiting."

Despite the Internet chastising the woman for overreacting, Safeway nevertheless confirmed that the chicken foot was real and issued a statement saying, "While the part does not pose a health risk, we are investigating how it became packaged in with our product."

And then the ghost of the chicken issued its own statement:

"I'm incredibly sorry that my severed foot somehow ended up in the same package as my severed breast. I know that must've been unsettling. PS: My head is in a landfill."

Yep. It's been a rough month for chickens.

Follow Jarrett Bellini on Twitter.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Apparently This Matters...
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 2015 GMT (0415 HKT)
For several months in 2003, I did the whole European backpacker thing. Which is to say I've seen nearly every cathedral within 1,000 square miles of the Danube.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1917 GMT (0317 HKT)
The other day I saw a death metal band hanging out by their tour van in the parking lot behind a club. They were all dressed in black, and may or may not have been working on lyrics to a new song about fire and lamb meat.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 1305 GMT (2105 HKT)
There are two good reasons to own a giant trampoline.
June 13, 2014 -- Updated 2251 GMT (0651 HKT)
I would love to say my dog is intellectually qualified to be a service animal. But he's not. There's barely enough brainpower there to be a lamp.
June 8, 2014 -- Updated 1523 GMT (2323 HKT)
I've never really needed an extra ear.
June 4, 2014 -- Updated 2032 GMT (0432 HKT)
I never actually caught a glimpse of the Tooth Fairy when I was young, but she was definitely real and in cahoots with my mom. This, due to the fact that I never woke up to find a Nintendo.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 1957 GMT (0357 HKT)
Have you ever seen a man running in a marathon, bleeding from his nipples?
May 16, 2014 -- Updated 1952 GMT (0352 HKT)
Brace yourselves, because this week's story is about sperm and poop.
May 9, 2014 -- Updated 2125 GMT (0525 HKT)
I once stayed at a youth hostel in Copenhagen called Sleep in Heaven. Which sounds quite pleasant until you realize that, apparently, heaven is cold and damp and completely infested with bedbugs.
May 4, 2014 -- Updated 1443 GMT (2243 HKT)
I'm not a violent man. Short, self-doubting gingers tend not to be the fiercest of creatures.
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 1332 GMT (2132 HKT)
For a long time it feels like we haven't seen much of Ronald McDonald. Not for nothing, but I heard he shanked Grimace in a back alley somewhere down in Mexico.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1644 GMT (0044 HKT)
I haven't had a single Diet Coke in 2014. It was a conscious health decision, and the only real side effect, now, is that the world is awful and I hate everything.
April 4, 2014 -- Updated 2120 GMT (0520 HKT)
The art of preparing, stuffing, and mounting animal skins is called taxidermy, and it can range from classy to creepy depending on whether your subject is a moose, or, say, a homeless drifter.
May 1, 2014 -- Updated 1632 GMT (0032 HKT)
The July 21, 1969, headline of the New York Times read, "MEN WALK ON MOON."
March 25, 2014 -- Updated 1655 GMT (0055 HKT)
I once uploaded an Instagram of me at Old Navy trying to get all kissy-face with a mannequin. At the time it seemed like a good idea, but she was rather unresponsive.
March 7, 2014 -- Updated 2213 GMT (0613 HKT)
I use a Keurig coffee machine at home because I'm lazy. And, quite frankly, don't feel like I've really done my duty to God and country until I've added a little something to the landfill.
February 28, 2014 -- Updated 1838 GMT (0238 HKT)
I wouldn't necessarily call myself a true germaphobe, but if entering a domestic partnership with a bottle of Purell were legal I'd certainly consider it.
February 21, 2014 -- Updated 2331 GMT (0731 HKT)
Fact: The most underrated cute animal on the face of the planet is the walrus.
February 14, 2014 -- Updated 2108 GMT (0508 HKT)
A wise man once said, "I'm not wearing pants today."
February 7, 2014 -- Updated 2147 GMT (0547 HKT)
Let me tell you about the time I spent $388.58 replacing a single light bulb.
February 1, 2014 -- Updated 1622 GMT (0022 HKT)
Attention minions of Colonel Meow:
January 27, 2014 -- Updated 1810 GMT (0210 HKT)
It's the stuff of movies. Bad movies. But movies.
ADVERTISEMENT