The rhetoric of risk and safety has shaped, and unfortunately limited, our contemporary reservoir of responses to H5N1, the avian flu virus. This essay turns to an old children's story, “The Story of Chicken-Licken,” to recover the folk wisdom obscured with the development of industrial poultry farming. Both the risk of a transspecies outbreak of high pathogen avian flu and the measures promised to ensure our safety in such a crisis are culturally constructed, reflecting the racialized, scientized, and commodified nature of contemporary chicken farming.
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© 2008 Duke University Press