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Is the Death of Dodie Why I Don't Like Chicken?

It’s my best explanation

By Victoria Kjos Published about a month ago 7 min read
Is the Death of Dodie Why I Don't Like Chicken?
Photo by James Wainscoat on Unsplash

Disclosures of Yore

I have been a vegetarian at various times in my life. My first foray was decades ago, long before “plant-based” entered the lexicon.

Vegetarians then survived on beans, rice, tofu, vegetables, bread, and salads. The plethora of today’s products mimicking the flavor of meat was non-existent.

It puzzles me why committed vegans or vegetarians consume products that taste like chicken or beef. But, alas, I accept numerous of life’s mysteries shall remain unexplained.

Vegetarianism, and Then Not

The tantalizing cuisine — actually not so mouth-watering — of my first non-carnivore phase consisted of lunches of alfalfa sprouts (that I grew), cheese, and mayonnaise sandwiches on wheat bread with fresh yogurt (that I also made myself).

Gourmet cuisine it was not. Indeed, indeed, it sounds god-awful to me today. But it was typical fare on a college student’s budget, where funds were spent on less healthy products, and acceptable for a person allergic to the relatively unused room referred to as a “kitchen.”

In my early twenties, I devoured Adele Davis’ books as though they represented the Ultimate Word about healthy living. A pioneer of the health food craze, she was considered a faddist at the time. Aside from consuming vast quantities of supplements, my memory of anything else from that study is foggy.

Davis only made it to age 70. The gobs of supplements, vitamins, and clean living failed to protect her from the big “C.” She perished from cancer. Hmmm, food for thought . Perhaps I should chuck the supply I continue to gag down daily.

I also have maintained the heinous existence of a carnivore for long stretches. At other times, I was a devoted pescatarian, my Scandinavian DNA wired to adore fish and reared from childhood eating all manner of seafood. Then, it was back to vegetarianism again.

Decades of Fads and Changes

Having weathered decades of fads, crazes, diet trends, expert advice, and food movements, along with the proclaimed myriad benefits of not eating meat versus the flip side of why some individuals should be carnivores, my philosophy has evolved over three decades to a straightforward one.

One benefit of aging (there are scads by the way, despite the media hype to the contrary) is no longer becoming agitated about those issues of one’s youth that were of earth shattering importance.

Regarding health and eating habits, I now ignore the latest recommendations, scientific explanations, and theories. A new study or research tomorrow will refute last month’s claims anyway. Or, the likelihood is substantial that the media-hyped medical information is flat-out erroneous.

For those old enough, remember the “eggs are dangerous for us” era? It turns out not so much unless they comprise the sum and substance of a person’s diet.

Be True To Oneself

As trite as it is, my mantra about dietary choices now is “each to his or her own.” Eat whatever soothes your soul and your tummy.

A vivid reminder of this was hammered home eons ago over breakfast with a fellow I was dating. I sanctimoniously ate scrambled or poached eggs, fruit, dry toast with jam, and iced tea.

Though I didn’t remark, he must have noticed my momentary grimace as he chowed down a heaping plate of greasy fried eggs, hash browns, toast with butter and jam, bacon, and coffee. He drolly commented, “Look, if I live three years less because I eat this, so be it. It’s what I like.”

“Good for him!” Message received loud and clear.

I have always loved vegetables and salads. My mother grew phenomenal gardens. Hence, eating vegetarian and fresh foods was natural and preferred.

Nevertheless, if my body craved the protein of flesh, I listened to the message. I am fundamentally lazy; otherwise, I would eat vegetarian all the time, along with eggs and dairy.

I detest cooking, grocery shopping, and the requisite duties and wasted time associated with the need to nourish oneself day in and day out. When a genius develops the once or thrice-daily pill to meet all of our nutritional needs, I will jump on board! Immediately. Surely, that must be in the works in a lab somewhere.

Choices for each of us

My motto is: Whatever works or resonates for each person physically, emotionally, religiously, or philosophically, go with it.

My motto is: Whatever works or resonates for each person physically, emotionally, religiously, or philosophically, go with it.

After all, even many Buddhist monks eat meat. Though he was a vegetarian, the world-renowned Yogi Paramahansa Yogananda (founder of “Self-Realization Fellowship/SRF”) counseled people to eat whatever best suited their individual constitutions.

When one yoga teacher friend studying in Pune, India, with the legendary “Father of Asana” to the Western world [Sri B.K.S. Iyengar was responsible for teaching thousands of teachers worldwide] asked him a question about her diet, he scoffed. All that mattered was a devout practice to enhance the flow of prana. Most of my Indian friends are lifelong vegetarians, but all consume dairy products.

My internationally respected Qigong Grandmaster, whom I studied with and consulted as a patient for more than thirty years, performed diagnoses by reading the movement or blockage of a patient’s energy, or “qi” (chi). He frequently advised against vegetarian diets for certain individuals.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (“TCM”), with similar aspects to India’s Ayurveda and other countries’ traditional healing philosophies, food is considered medicine and prescribed for ailments.

Please don’t proselytize

Most of all, please, converts and diehards, sate the sanctimony and proselytizing. Do not judge my or others’ dietary choices.

In my youth — that period when we are experts about everything —  I, too, often held forth about the virtues of this eating or that exercise program. Despite having bona fide professional credentials that included a masters degree in exercise science, looking back, I realize how annoying others must have found my zealousness.

Hence, if someone now tries to convert me to veganism, eliminating all sugar, ingesting apple cider vinegar, or drinking my urine (yep, that’s a thing… “urotherapy”), I zone out while simultaneously seeking an immediate nimble exit from sermony diatribes. Needing the loo is a favorite excuse; we seniors’ bladders require frequent emptying.

I know of no humanoid who appreciates being preached to. I do not like being lectured.

I Deplore All Chicken, Except One Preparation

I detest chicken. The word is one of the first, after greetings and thank you, I learn upon arriving in a new country to ensure not to mistakenly order it in restaurants.

I gag on it all, except for one preparation. Embarrassingly, the only chicken I can tolerate is KFC. Kentucky Fried Chicken — the brand marketed with the bespectacled, white-goateed, elderly chap wearing a droopy black bowtie — now exported by the US to much of the free world. But I can count on ten fingers the number of times, I’ve consumed it. Why their version is palatable I suspect is because the greasy, unhealthy breaded coating sufficiently obliterates any poultry flavor.

I can stomach turkey, however. Though of the same genre, the meat tastes different and doesn’t engender a negative digestive reaction.

Youth

In my early years, I was raised on the midwestern United States plains. It was a non-descript terrain of farming and mining populated by small towns (villages to Europeans and Asians) with nosy neighbors where nothing of consequence ever happened.

Breeding livestock was part and parcel of rural life. Most animals were raised for food, along with a smattering of cats and a dog about that could be characterized as pets.

Somewhere along the line — the memory of how or why escapes me — I acquired a pet chicken. I named her Dodie. As kids are oft want to do, I spent minimal time tending to or in Dodie’s company. If you are unfamiliar with fowl, chickens aren’t the most social or cuddly of creatures.

On the Way to Church

I remember the conversation as if it were yesterday, despite being only nine or ten years old.

It was the ritual Sunday morning drive to church for either the 9:30 or 11:00 a.m. service. The time alternated during various periods, but it was a never-missed weekly drill. Always an “owl,” I would have been marginally awake, especially if it were only nine o’clock. My father, with a notoriously heavy foot, was likely speeding.

En route, I made an innocuous comment about my pet, Dodie whereupon my mother very matter-of-factly announced, “Oh, we had Dodie for supper a few nights ago.”

No hesitation. No consoling. No, “Didn’t you realize your pet chicken at a certain age was destined to become a meal?” explanation. I don’t recall shedding any tears and certainly expressed no upset; kids of that era never whined or cried about such trite matters.

There was but a quiet moment of sadness and regret that I had not been more attentive to my feathered temporary friend.

I don’t recall if that’s when my appetite for chicken declined or not. But I’ve always suspected my disdain for it is at least a subconscious connection to the Death of Dodie.

At least, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

Your time is valuable. I'm honored you chose to spend some of it here.

Victoria 🙏😎

© Victoria Kjos. All Rights Reserved. 2024

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About the Creator

Victoria Kjos

I love thinking. I respect thinking. I respect thinkers. Writing, for me, is thinking on paper. I shall think here. My meanderings as a vagabond, seeker, and lifelong student. I'm deeply honored if you choose to read any of those thoughts.

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Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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Comments (2)

  • Manikandan Blog Writerabout a month ago

    nice

  • Manikandan Blog Writerabout a month ago

    very good

Victoria Kjos Written by Victoria Kjos

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