The World Wildlife Fund has added another animal to the endangered list, the common rubber chicken. Rubber chickens roam free in the rainforests of South America, where they feed on the leaves of rubber trees. They are shy herd animals whose main defense is to play dead. A merciless hunting program over the last twenty years has driven them to near extinction. Toy stores around the world have sold rubber chicken carcasses for years, but since few were sold, the population could withstand the loss. Those chickens caught for sale were usually old, sick, or weak.
This stable situation changed when a businessman bought a rubber chicken and realised its commercial potential. Rather than extract the rubber from the tree, he used the chicken’s natural digestive processes to refine the rubber, creating a superior product. A herd of rubber chickens was imported to a secret location and fed on low-grade elastic bands. When the chicken reached full size, it was killed and the rubber extracted from its muscle tissue. The main commercial consumer of this rubber is a multinational company that makes toilet plungers, who have found that chicken rubber makes a more efficient plunger.
The fate of the rubber chicken is an indirect result of Government health warnings advising people to add more fibre to their diets. As the population turned to healthier food, there was an increased demand for high-quality toilet plungers. The small population at the rubber plant could not sustain demand, and the company was forced to send out hunting parties into the rainforest. The hunters took the strongest and best chickens, leaving behind the young and old. The rubber chicken population has been cut to perhaps five hundred breeding pairs, who are hiding deeper and deeper in the forest. If we do not take measures to protect the rubber chicken, it could be extinct in as little as ten years.
(This is a big fat lie, I made it all up. No chickens were harmed in the making of this post.)