The other day while I was walking to the office, it crossed my mind that the world uses a lot of chickens. I began to really think about the mass quantities of chickens it takes to make the world go round, and to be honest with you, it was a bit staggering. I was left in awe of just how important chickens are in our lives.

Unless you’re a vegan. Which I just don’t get. But that’s not the point, so I shall ramble on.

Let’s start in the home. Whether you like white meat or dark, wing or breast, I bet you some sort of chicken is served in 50% American homes each day. I know my kids groan in protest when they ask “what’s for dinner?” and my reply is “chicken.” Maybe because I only have a few ways I prepare it. There are so many freaking ways to make chicken, which makes it massively varietal – fried, picatta, lemon, parmesean, cordon bleu, marsala. I could go on for days.

Next, think about restaurants. That requires several sub-categories. You’ve got your regular restaurant that will use it on sandwiches, as an appetizer, or a main dish. That in itself is mind boggling to think of how many chickens it uses in a single day. Take for example, TGI Fridays – 6 appetizers use chicken, 4 salads use chicken, 8 entrees use chicken, and 3 sandwiches use chicken. Now, think of every TGI Friday’s restaurant there is across the globe and all the chickens it takes daily JUST to make those 21 dishes. And that ‘s just ONE restaurant chain.

I’m not even going to touch KFC, because that’s a no-duh, but think of McDonald’s and how much chicken they use. Chicken sandwiches and McNuggets make up half the menu. I’m sure just one of my town’s McDonald’s restaurants uses a ton of chicken in just one day, and my town has like 5 McDonald’s. All 5 together, times the zillions of McDonald’s there are across the world? Can you really fathom the amount of chickens that takes?

What about Chinese restaurants? All those orders of General Tso’s and Sesame, and Garlic chicken must require enough poultry in one day to fill the state of New Jersey. And how about Mexican restaurants with their enchiladas and chimichangas? It’s staggering to think of all that chicken!

Just walk down an aisle in your supermarket. All those cans of soup, and broth, and frozen bags of legs and thighs. All the TV dinners and frozen chicken nuggets, patties, chicken pot pies and Lean Cuisines. Think of the Perdue oven stuffer roasters, and the rotissiere chickens ready to take home in the market’s deli section. It’s mind blowing, I tell ya!

Really think of the real estate it takes to farm all the gazillions of chickens it must take just to make all these products. I wouldn’t think there was enough space on the planet. I would imagine that every family would be required to raise at least 10 chickens in order to keep up with the supply and demand for these clucking little bastards.

In any case, that was what I thought about on my walk to work the other day. Boy, I didn’t even touch on all the zillions of uses for eggs.

Maybe next week.