Ducks in a row

Traveling First Class

A farmer takes his ducks to market in the Ha Nam province in northern Vietnam. Travellers to this region who stay at the five-star resorts can have their own butlers. But not this guy. His business follows a different model. Going by appearance, these are Pekin ducks, which are very profitable to raise. They’re ready for market at about 3 ½ kilograms, which takes about 50 days.

I love the economy in his set-up.  Don’t the handlebar ducks look especially at ease?

Do they feel they’re in first class?

It’s hard not to anthropomorphize these birds. Look at their open bills, their eyes. I’m about to ask them their opinion of fois gras.

“Is he treating you well?”

By the looks of them — clean feathers, bills and feet – the farmer definitely is.

But I pull myself back and remind myself: I have no issue with these birds going so briskly to slaughter, to bellies, and then further along the life cycle.

It’s just like us, except that it’ll be age, illness, a box, a furnace or the ground that’ll eat us.

If dying is like going to market, I want to go with someone who treats me well, like this guy.

And I wanna ride on the handlebars. Who doesn’t want to go first class if they can?