Why Did the Chicken Cross the World? The Epic Saga of the Bird that Powers Civilization by Andrew Lawler, Atria Books 2014.
The chicken as "world conqueror"
The June 2012 issue of Smithsonian magazine published an article celebrating global chicken production and consumption. "How the Chicken Conquered the World" features a cartoon of the "Chicken Conqueror" dressed as Napoleon. Eager to glitz the story of chickens as "crispy" corpses and world conquerors, the editors thought it would be cute to dress up the account with "astounding" images. Readers were invited to chuckle with the editors: "What if you were to take portraits of raw chickens, dressed up as some of the most famous leaders in history . . . Chickens-Dressed-Like-Napoleon-Einstein-and-Other-Historical-Figures?"
Other than the Napoleon cartoon, the chickens dressed as "historical figures" for the article are naked, headless corpses. The article's coauthor is science writer Andrew Lawler, whose book Why Did the Chicken Cross the World? looks at why the chicken, of all animal species on earth, emerged, in his view, as "our most important animal companion."