Warning: this page is about a chicken. If the idea of chickens offends you, please don't read it.
From the Brighton Argus this week, the story of Doug Devaney, a Brighton playwright who has been told he must warn audiences that his one-man act features a roast chicken - for fear of offending vegetarians.
He has toured the city for years with his play "Mein Gutt", a black comedy about a man's losing battle against obesity. But the vegetarian Sanctuary Café in Hove has told him the show can only go on if the audience is warned beforehand that there is a dead chicken involved.
Mr Devaney said: "I phoned up as a matter of courtesy to let them know I used a chicken as an essential part of the show but they got back to me a few days later to say I would have to give the audience a warning. Do people really need that much protecting? I wonder what they do when they walk past the rotisserie at Asda?"
God, how offensive can you get?
Sandra McDonagh, who organises events at the Sanctuary Café, said: "Essentially we just don't want to cause offence so we want to give out a warning beforehand. I had to run it past the café owners and they asked for a warning in case somebody stands up and says, 'I wasn't told about this'. There will always be one person who will be sensitive enough to complain. I have come across staunch Vegans who will kick off about most things, and it's better to cover yourselves."
As one internet commentator has speculated, political correctness is so rampant in Britain that it wouldn't be surprising if moviegoers will soon have to be warned when heterosexual romance is depicted, for fear of offending the homosexuals in the audience. Or should there be a warning at the beginning of "Songs of Praise" in case any Muslims are offended by its Christian content?
And should anyone really take any notice of what Vegans think? It was reported in the Times last week that in America a Vegan couple were sentenced to life in jail for the murder of their malnourished six-week-old son, who weighed just 3lb when he died. Jade Sanders and Lamont Thomas fed the boy, Crown Shakur, a diet of soy milk and apple juice, the Atlanta court heard. The child was born in a bath-tub in the couple's home and never taken to see a doctor. He was dead when his parents took him to a hospital across the street from their flat on April 25, 2004. He was so emaciated that doctors could count his bones through his skin.
The couple maintained during the trial that they did the best they could for the boy while adhering to their Vegan lifestyle, a strict form of vegetarianism that does not allow the consumption or use of any products linked to animals. "We're vegetarians," 31-year-old Thomas said, "we are against animal cruelty, so why would I be cruel to my son? Why would I do something with his body? We are against animals being murdered, why would we be cruel to him and try to do something to his body? The fact that we named him Crown, we were proud of him. We weren't trying to kill my son."
The couple were found guilty of malice murder, felony murder, involuntary manslaughter and cruelty to children.
Bloody good job, if you ask me.
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