One of my New Zealand friends who grew up in Ipoh has been over here visiting her parents. She and her mother took me to their local market early yesterday morning. I had expressed a wish to buy free-range chicken so they took me to the appropriate stall. There was my chook running around with several others in a cage beside the chopping block. Having ascertained what I wanted, the stall vendor grabbed it and expertly despatched it. With typical meat-eating hypocrisy, I felt really sorry for the chook. We wandered around the market, looking at the inviting piles of fresh vegetables and fruit on offer. When we got back to the chicken stall, the beautiful brown chicken, which had been alive just minutes before, was in two bags – one of filleted, skinned chicken pieces and the other of bones, which I will use to make stock. Will the experience make me a vegetarian? I doubt it. But I console myself with the thought that this was a kampung (village) chicken and it got to experience some fresh air before being served up for dinner in my house.