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Globalization is a concept that can be understood through the spread of the chicken. To understand what this means, we must first define globalization and to then examine the trends across the world that showcase this. Spooner states in his book, The Crucial Phase, that Globalization is defined “with the special interests of each writer. But it flourishes in general usage because it captures the accelerating rate of change we see all around us”. So this tells us that globalization is open to interpretation. However, defining globalization so narrowly still does not give a good understanding of what exactly it is. Spooner furthers his point when he says, “We recognize that globalization, whatever else it may be, is change, accelerating open-ended change” and elaborates on a term called informationalization, which is defined as “ the relaxation and questioning of all social rules, from table manners to the composition of the family household” which is the byproduct of such acceleration. He also goes on to examine trends across the globe that also help define globalization when it states, “The most important spatial dimension of this accelerating change so far has been the growth and proliferation of cities. We may define cities as settled communities large enough to generate a commercial and a service economy in addition to food production” and “This reaction underlies most of the major problems of the modern world, which compete with globalization, because the progress of globalization is geographically uneven.” Investigating the chicken, can be done through its growth in these cities and the unevenness that forms in many modern problems through the progress of globalization through the chicken. The globalization of the chicken can also be traced and explained as “although globalization may have become visible in the West before anywhere else, like earlier thresholds of change, such as sedentarization, domestication, urbanism, processes potentially leading eventually to globalization have taken off in a number of different communities in different parts of the world at different times, and are currently complementing what is driven from the West, and beginning to merge with it” Through the examination of sedentarization and domestication, we can put together the changes that took place that lead to the accelerating growth of chickens as we know it today.
An examination of the globalization of the chicken starts from the archaeological origin of the chicken. To begin, conflicts of the origins of chicken arise from different scholars. One scholar finds that, “Genetic studies of chickens have proposed multiple origins of domestication, including Southeast Asia, East Asia, and South Asia.” which actually aligns with another scholar’s findings that, “Darwin suggested that domestic chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) originated from red jungle fowl (Gallus gallus gallus) ∼4,000 y B.P. in the Indus Valley.” The conflict arises when one scholar finds that “Previous DNA studies have suggested that Thailand might be one of the origins of domestication. However, whereas two bones from junglefowl/domestic fowl (G. gallus) were found at Khok Phanom Di, and complete chicken skeletons were reported at Ban Non Wat and Ban Na Di,” The origin may even trace back to many years before as another scholar states that, “Pheasant/fowl bones were dominant in the NISP in this study and were also found at Spirit Cave, suggesting that the exploitation of pheasants/fowls dates back to the early Holocene in this region.” The explanation for their domestication finds that, “Birds seem to have been exploited to meet the demands for food and/or feathers but not as material for bone tools. During the same periods, bone tools made from bird bones (bone spear, needle, and needle case) were common, and many bird bones with manufacturing marks have been found in South China.” It appears that even from ages ranging from thousands of years ago, people had generally used them for food. However, the chicken had started to move west as a result of the Romans.
The chicken had moved west as it a scholar states that, “It has been suggested that the chicken did not arrive in Britain until shortly before the arrival of the Romans because only small numbers of chicken bones have been found in pre-Roman sites in southern and eastern Britain…. After the Roman occupation, chickens were much more plentiful and over time became a common domestic bird.” The chickens domestication has started in the Southeast Asia had made its move to west. Romans, had actually used them for a variety of cultural reasons ranging from basing “their predictions on how greedily chickens ate or whether chickens refused to leave their roost” to carrying “ the right foot of a chicken for good luck” to even using them “in sacrificial rituals”. An even more interesting use was the idea of cockfighting. The Romans and the Greeks had actually used chickens to fight and that “Julius Caesar noted that the British kept chickens for diversion and pleasure — a likely reference to cockfighting”. Cockfighting’s significance can be revealed in the scholars work on cockfighting in Bali.
In Bali, the elite see cockfighting was seen as “primitive”, “backward”, “unprogressive”, and generally unbecoming an ambitious nation. And, as with those other embarrassments-opium smoking, begging, or uncovered breasts-it seeks, rather unsystematically, to put a stop to it”. The ones conducting this research in Bali had stated that “We were American professors; the government had cleared us; we were there to study culture; we were going to write a book to tell Americans about Bali”. However, for more citizens of non-elite status, viewed cockfighting culture in Bali in such a way that the SCHOLARS compared it ,“as much of America surfaces in a ball park, or a golf links, at a race track, or around a poker table, much of Bali surfaces in a cock ring. For it is only apparently cocks that are fighting there. Actually, it is men”. The word in bali, Sabung, even holds significance as it “used metaphorically to mean “hero”, “warrior”, “champion”, “man of parts”, “political candidate”, “bachelor”, “dandy”, “lady-killer”, or “tough guy”.
The phenomenon of cockfights became so dominant that it even became to represent “court trials, wars, political contests, inheritance disputes, and street arguments.” Overall it appears that cockfighting in Bali is just a small representation of cockfgiht in a global stance. The appeal of cockfight is still apparent to this day as it states that “cockfighting flourishes in Afghanistan, India, China, Southeast Asia, the Philippines, and Latin America, and it remains legal in three American states: Louisiana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.” Cockfighting often involved “large-scale gambling and rewards of up to $150,000 in prize money or new pickup trucks.” which eventually lead to its ban in Britain in 1849 ultimately forcing it to go underground.
Besides cockfighting, chickens have become a dominant industry for food. It states that, “The necessity of feeding Britain’s growing urban population also led to an increase in the commercial breeding and raising of chickens in the nineteenth century.” The banning of chickens had actually “led to an explosion in breeding and showing fancy varieties of poultry”. The migration of the chicken had started as it states that “Mediterranean and then Asiatic breeds found their way to the United States, setting off the same furor or ‘‘hen craze’’ that was occurring in Britain”. The chickens and its transportility as a meat and their eggs continued to increase alongside the technological advances as the capabilities to do so with “the development of cold storage and refrigerated railway cars allowed products to be shipped longer distances to city markets”. In the industry as a food source, it had still held its small scale importance as it states that, “The chicken is an extremely valuable domesticated animal. In many developing nations, virtually every household keeps a few scavenger chickens. Although they are not highly productive by Western standards, these chickens provide protein at little or no cost to their owners”. These chickens that have now been inducted as a supply chain in modern industry show the accelerating change and increase it exhibits.
Chicken in the industry has opened a variety of different problems. In regards to its supply and demand in the late 20th century, it states, “There are about 1.2 billion chickens in Europe. The laying flocks in Britain shrank from about 44 million birds in 1981 to 33 million in 1991, and this trend continues. Both increased production from individual birds and reduced demand from consumers have contributed to this situation”. The competition is not always an issue as supply and demand complement each other from country to country as “Brown eggs dominate the market in a complete reversal from the United States, where commercial brown eggs are comparatively rare or only available in certain regions and generally cost more than white eggs.” “Competition from continental Europe and North America will increase the financial pressures on British domestic producers, who may turn to the promotion of high-quality products from high-welfare status farms.” In a case example, the rise of chickens in the industry show that “approximately 7 billion chickens are slaughtered annually in the United States, compared with 143 million in 1940.” A concern from the exponential increase of its productions raises issues such that, “the commercial companies are not concerned with heritage chicken breeds at all because they are depending on genetic engineering for future needs.” A solution is offered that needs to consider “animal welfare regulations, use of antibiotics, new disease threats, and changing production technologies” that go into the humane execution of chicken mass production.
The labor force is also affected through industry and offers a case of globalization.
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