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Chicken vs Man

An Eco-critical look at Chicken Run

Concentration Ca- Farm.
In Chicken Run, Chickens live on
Tweedys farm and are forced to
produce eggs.
If a chicken doesnt produce
enough eggs, they are taken to
the chop.
The chickens decide that they are
sick of their oppressed lives and
want to escape the farm to live in
the wild.
Meanwhile the Tweedys plan to
turn their chicken egg farm into a
chicken pie factory.
Human/Animal relationships

A sub field of Ecocriticism called

Animal Studies explores how
animals are represented in texts and
what their relationship is to humans.
Chicken Run invites an ecocritical
response through this lens based on
the relationship between the
chickens on Tweedys farm and the
Tweedys themselves.
Initial Relationship

The chickens are always fearful of their lives

because of the circumstances they live under.
Their living conditions and added stress from the
threat of death might make it difficult for them to
produce eggs.
This dictatorship-like relationship between the
farmers and the chickens cause an unhealthy
Produce Eggs or you die
Threat of life causing them to not lay eggs
Death for not laying eggs.
The Relationship Evolves

The egg farm isnt very profitable.

The Tweedys plan is to stop producing
eggs and selling them for miniscule
They want to turn their egg farm into a
small chicken pie goldmine and by
doing so, disregard the lives of the
Dismantling this through the lens of
animal studies, we could say that like
this situation, animals are often seen
as possessions, only there for
monetary gain.
It is an era dominated by industry, in which
the right to make a dollar at whatever cost is
seldom challenged.
- Rachel Carson

In Chicken Run, we see some of what Carson

says in this quote from her book Silent Spring.
The Tweedys only goal is to make money and
to do so, they turn to industry, disregarding
nature and the lives of their chickens to
accomplish their goal.
Twelve voices were shouting in
Disrupting the Binary anger, and they were all alike. No
question, now, what had
happened to the faces of the
pigs. The creatures outside
In this film, like other texts, we how it can looked from pig to man, and from
man to pig, and from pig to man
be difficult to decide who is really the
again; but already it was
animal in a human/animal relationship. impossible to say which was
This film is similar in that regard to the which.
Life will go on as it has always
book Animal Farm by George Orwell.
gone onthat is, badly.
Farm animals in that book turn to revolt
rather than escape. But in this story, the -Animal Farm
Animals become just as awful as the
humans that they overthrew.
Orwells ecocritical message here is that
one way to mess up the natural world is to
act like a human being.
The Machine in the Garden

In his book, Leo Marx also commented on industry in nature:

"Within the lifetime of a single generation, a rustic and in large part wild
landscape was transformed into the site of the world's most productive
industrial machine. It would be difficult to imagine more profound
contradictions of value or meaning than those made manifest by this
circumstance. Its influence upon our literature is suggested by the
recurrent image of the machine's sudden entrance onto the landscape
In Conclusion
The movie Chicken Run invites an ecocritical response within the
subfield of Animal Studies.
We can observe the relationship between the Tweedys and the chickens
on their farm.
The monitary goals of the Tweedys lead to their indifference when it
comes to the lives of their chickens.

Animals don't behave like men ... If they have to fight, they fight; and if
they have to kill they kill. But they don't sit down and set their wits to work
to devise ways of spoiling other creatures' lives and hurting them. They
have dignity and animality.
- Richard Adams, Watership Down
Works Cited

Adams, Richard. Watership Down.

Carson, Rachel. Silent Spring.
Chicken Run. Dir. Peter Lord and Nick Park. Perf. Mel Gibson, Julia
Sawalha, Phil Daniels.
Marx, Leo. The Machine in the Garden.
Orwell, George. Animal Farm.