Please summarize chapters 5-6 of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The primary focus of these chapters, entitled "Molly Mooching" and "The Birds and the Bees" respectively, is on the efforts that Kingsolver and her family have to go through to get her turkeys and chickens to copulate and then how the females have to be encouraged to sit on the eggs themselves so that they will incubate. We are treated therefore to a somewhat hilarious description of turkey and chicken sex and motherhood which Kingsolver often ironically compares to the human dance of courtship.

However, as with every other chapter, there is a serious point and a rather disturbing reality that lies behind the humour of male chickens and turkeys refusing to put out. Her difficulties in finding information about turkey breeding point to the dangerous way in which mankind has lost certain information that is key to its survival through the mass production of turkeys who are unable to reproduce. Kingsolver clearly points out that we have moved away from our original agrarian roots to such an extent that we are in danger of becoming disconnected from the raw realities of nature, of which courtship is just one example. Her successful attempts therefore to encourage copulation in her turkeys and chickens represent a blow against the mass production of animals that is profoundly unnatural.


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