Opinion

Commentary: Campaign to change Georgia's state bird is feather-brained

You may have heard during the last couple of weeks the state's poultry industry is lobbying hard to replace the state bird — the noble brown thrasher.

This bird has been much maligned as of late as the poultry industry makes its case. And yes, there is a case to be made. The chickeners made a video calling for people to sign a petition and e-mail their state representative asking them to "flip the birds" (www.flipthebirds.com).

The video begins: "The Cornish chicken. Noble bird. Southern cultural icon and sustainer of Georgia's economy." The video continues to detail how the Cornish chicken, "a beautiful bird," contributed more than $3 billion to the state's agribusiness coffers last year, employed more than 124,000 Georgians, remained America's favorite choice for dinner and has inspired Southern cuisine and artists for centuries.

The video then took a turn and started hating on the poor brown thrasher.

Here's an excerpt: "... yet Georgia's state bird remains the inedible, lazy and migratory brown thrasher ..."

The chicken people are definitely ruffling some feathers. So I decided to stand up for the brown thrasher.

It sings way better than a chicken. The sound of the brown thrasher reminds me of spring.

One point for the brown thrasher.

Now for taste. I love chicken — baked, fried, grilled, in salad, in soup. I'd give a point to the chicken in this category, but I've never eaten a brown thrasher.

I suppose in a pinch, like in a survival situation, I'd eat one. My guess on what a brown thrasher would taste like — chicken.

So I'll give each half a point on taste.

To read the complete column, visit www.macon.com.

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