Jessica Valenti

  • Chicken Run

    I grew up in a house that was once my grandfather’s butcher shop. My father tells stories about playing near buckets of slick and glassy cow eyeballs in the back room, with sawdust on the floor and lambs hanging upside down in the store window. At that time, a butcher was on every few blocks in my Queens neighborhood—the shop was one of two that my grandfather ran along with his brother. In the 1960s, supermarkets moved in and put most of the butchers out of business. Why bother going to a specialty meat store when you could have precut, prepackaged meat at the same place you purchase your