28 July 2011

Holiday from hell?: Why National Chicken Wing Day should cluck off

On Friday, July 29 the inestimably offensive Hooters restaurant will "celebrate" National Chicken Wing Day with a special "buy 10 wings, get 10 free" offer for its discerning clientele.

Unlike most obscure holidays, which are relatively harmless — I'm thinking of ones like International Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19), Monkey Day (December 14), and No Pants Day (the first Friday in May)  National Chicken Wing Day, which was first proclaimed in Buffalo, New York back in 1977, is literally saturated in harm. The deep-fried poultry parts are of course lethal to the chickens whose bodies are hacked apart to obtain them, and they're also potentially deadly to those who scarf them down.

Why so wicked? Well, according to Men's Health magazine, a platter of the restaurant's battered wings are "a veritable weapon of mass destruction." Look at it this way: a person who takes advantage of Hooters' special National Chicken Wing Day deal will put a walloping 3,464 calories and 250 grams of fat into their body — and that's not including the side of blue cheese dressing. Fowl play, indeed.

Hooters reportedly sells 30 million pounds of chicken wings each year, which is supposed to be enough to circle the earth at the equator. And it's not just Hooters that's taking a toll on chicken lives and human arteries. The National Chicken Council estimates that, in 2011 alone, more than 13.5 billion individual chicken wings (that's over 3 billion pounds) will be consumed.

Anyone who gives a hoot about animal welfare or human health should abstain from participating in this ridiculous excuse for a holiday. Or, be subversive! Put on your apron and whip up a batch of vegetarian wings, or buy a couple packages of Gardein all-vegan Buffalo Wings (selected by football star Ricky Williams as the best faux-chicken) and chow down in cruelty- and saturated fat-free style. Doing so will bring happiness to your heart, your taste buds, and most especially to the chickens.

Elizabeth Gordon | Facebook
Elizabeth is an Asian-Appalachian writer, activist, and college professor living in north central Massachusetts. Once an avowed carnivore, she was a vegetarian for 15 years before making the conversion to veganism. She is passionate about trying to live a life that lessens, rather than contributes to, the amount of cruelty and suffering in this world. Follow Elizabeth on her Vegosphere blog and Facebook page.

Photo credit:cc:flickr.com/photos/28478778@N05