topic and declared myself a "Free Range Chick." As it turns out, I may have to revise that proclamation. I was finishing up a fabulous food book last night and found myself reading about chickens. To paraphrase Michael Pollan, "Free Range" doesn't necessarily mean the chicken is free from its cage. Many industrial meat producers offer their chickens little more than a dirt yard where nothing grows dooming them to live out their life that lasts only long enough for the chicken to get so fat it can barely walk, in a tiny yard filled wing to wing with a bunch of other fat, free range chicks with nothing to cluck about but the size of their breasts, while they step in chicken shit over and over again.
That sounds so much like my life. So much.
So, although this middle bit of my life feels very "Free Range" at times, what I want to be is "Pastured." Not to be confused with " Put out to pasture" which is a very different thing indeed and not something I'm ready for at all.
Being classified as a "Pastured Chick" would mean, by loose definition, that:
I have daily access to seasonal fresh vegetation and grass. There have been times in my life where I have had daily access to grass...not that I partook of it of course, Dad. Seriously. Pastured means I don't have to partake of the grass daily, but it's there if I want it. And so is the spinach, arugula and purslane.
I live in an environment that includes diverse populations. Which for chickens might mean horses and goats, but for me would surly include strange and wonderful creatures like Buddhists, Republicans, choral musicians, Hollywood Godfathers and stylists with body art.
I am allowed to act like a chicken and to do what comes naturally. Read: Do what comes naturally. Not: Only behave the way chickens are supposed to behave. What's natural for me today, was certainly not natural for me 10 years ago and may not be natural when I'm 40.
I am invited, and expected, to enrich the pasture in which I live, by the things I leave behind. I
have always felt that the crap I dish out to the people around me was
enriching, but being "pastured" would make it official.
I may be a "Free Range Chick" but I wanna be "Pastured."