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RIP Little Chicken

Today I dissected a chicken. I was not looking forward to cutting open an ikkle chicky, but it was about four weeks, so it had feathers and was past the cutest stage. That shouldn't make a difference, but it does. It had also been used for an experiment but was finished with, so it would have died anyway. When I did the rat, it was killed just so we could dissect it, which is sadder. At least this chicken was helpful in more than one way.

The others say I'm disgusting. I say, if an animal has to die so I can learn, I should try and learn as much as I possibly can. Right? So, I took a look inside its gizzard (or stomach) and found the stone and shell grit that it uses to grind up food. And I compared food at various stages of digestion.

Everyone was like "eww". They'll wish they'd had a look when we come to do the digestive system in anatomy!

I guess it's like this. You've cut open a chicken and your gloved hands are poking around inside trying to identify organs. THAT'S where the mental leap is. Once you've got the thing open (and it doesn't really look like an animal any more), can it really get more disgusting? Surely the leap between petting a little chick and dissecting it is WAY WAY WAY bigger than the leap between looking at the internal organs and opening them up to see inside. Right?

Only one girl had a real problem with cutting open the chicken, but everyone was like "Oh my God! That's disgusting" because I went in a little deeper than them. I mean, really... what's the difference?

Also, everyone says I'm weird because I talked to my chicken. I talked to my rat too. Is that weird? I just kinda talk sort of to myself and sorta to the animal while I do it. "Sorry about this, little chicken" and "lets see what's behind here" and "ooh, look what you've got in there".

I can't help it. But it makes me feel better. Maybe that is weird. But EVERYONE does the same thing when they've finished a dissection. We pick it up in both hands, neatly tuck everything back where it should be and carry it to the box where it gets laid down gently. Why? It's way beyond dead at that point.

And really, is talking to my chicken any weirder?


( 6 comments! — Make Remark! )
Sep. 16th, 2009 01:03 pm (UTC)
I totally get what you're saying. We dissected a sheep's brain in pysch last year, I was one of the few that actually did it - most of the girls were like "ewwwww! I'm not touching it!" and most of the guys were too busy going "hur hur brains" because they were 16/17 year old boys :| But once you get over the fact that this was once a live animal (it's now dead, may as well learn as much from it as you can) it's really interesting!

(I also think a lot of people just put it on - they're "supposed" to think doing this is disgusting, so they put on an act. There were only a couple of people in my class who genuinely felt ill and had to go outside, everyone else just acted it up. And that made me sad :()
Sep. 16th, 2009 07:10 pm (UTC)
I get the talking to it thing. I think it's sort of a way for us to disassociate with what we're actually doing (ie. talking to a dead thing makes it seem less dead and cut up). Then again, I talk to everything...like cd's when I'm trying to choose which one to listen to.
And yeah, I agree with "once you're in there, you might as well make it worth while". Otherwise it's sort of a waste.
It's like when people get icked out about eating certain types of meat. I don't really get the difference between cow tongue and steak. Ok if you don't like the taste, but it all came from a cow, so don't get grossed out about which part.
Sep. 16th, 2009 10:19 pm (UTC)
I completely agree with - if i have to do it i'll get as much out of it as possible. Plus if you are in that degree it would be common knowledge that you have to do that -so dont complain! In fact only if u were a strick vegan i dont think u have the right to complain. whether it is science or food they get killed and doesnt matter who is doing the killing... *sigh* sorry i get up set when ppl get funny about these things. personally if there is a way around not using an animal i will do that first but eventually it has to be done.

talking to things makes u normal. other ppl only think ur weird cos they havent got he heart to do it even though they really want to. :) hope u had fun in the class. sounds interesting to me :)
Sep. 17th, 2009 09:11 am (UTC)
hehehe... Well, Ducky on NCIS talks to dead bodies all the time while he is cutting them up and trying to figure out how people died. And Ducky is awesome. Therefore so are you ^_^
Sep. 17th, 2009 03:57 pm (UTC)
Attempting to have a coherent conversation with either Alien or Ra is far stranger than talking to a chicken.

Oct. 5th, 2009 03:24 pm (UTC)
I agree with everyone else :) I would do exactly the same thing as you, Kayt, including the apologising. I think its the same as when the animal is alive and sick/injured, because in either context they cant reply anyway, only react to sound/behaviour, and the only difference is they are moving around when alive.

When i was in TAFE and our teacher cut up a 2 rats, everyone was ewww gross about it. I wanted to cuddle the rats - but they were already dead before we saw them. The organs looked very cool though.

I havent personally dissected anything, but ive talked to microbiology agar dishes and the bacteria etc on them/ run over kitties/ 3 week old puppies that were abandoned/histology tissues as im putting them in wax and then as im mounting them on slides etc etc.
( 6 comments! — Make Remark! )

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