How the Chicken Crossed the World
Queen Victoria was obsessed with it. Socrates’ last words were about it. Charles Darwin and Louis Pasteur made their scientific breakthroughs using it. Hailed as a messenger of the gods, powerful sex symbol, gambling aid, all-purpose medicine and handy research tool, the humble chicken has been also cast as the epitome of evil, and the star of the world’s most famous joke. Beginning with the recent discovery, that the chicken’s unlikely ancestor is the T. Rex, How the Chicken Crossed the World tracks the chicken from its original domestication in the jungles of Southeast Asia some 10,000 years ago to today’s Western societies, where it became the most engineered of animals, to the uncertain future of what is now humanity’s single most important source of protein. In a masterful combination of historical sleuthing and journalistic exploration on four continents, Lawler reframes the way we feel and think about all domesticated animals and even nature itself.