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Photo by Terra Brockman

Chicken keepers

Loving and eating animals

On a sunny winter day I visited the Academy for Global Citizenship, a public charter school on the southwest side of Chicago. The school emphasizes sustainability and experiential education, which includes having the students feed and water the school yard chickens, clean their coop, and collect their eggs. As I approached the coop, a half dozen kindergartners crowded around to introduce me to Buttercup, Daisy, and Puddles. Like the students, the school’s resident hens were a diverse trio, one gold-speckled brown, one glistening iridescent black, and one fluffy white. But all had the glittering eyes and brilliant red combs of healthy hens, and they clucked conversationally with each other, as contented hens do.


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