Le Miracle des Pigeons Rotis (The Miracle of the Rotisserie Pigeons) 2010

The Way of Saint James, the road to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, has been a pilgrimage since the Middle Ages. The route is strongly associated with miracles, one of the most prominent being the miracle of the roast (rotisserie) chickens, in which a chicken dinner comes back to life.

Now considered public nuisances, urban pigeon populations began as food stock in a thriving squab industry. At the turn of the twentieth century Los Angeles was home to the largest pigeon ranch in the world.

Until the relatively recent development of commercial farming practices livestock was fattened through the exploitation of an animal’s natural capacity for foraging; among societies that rely on subsistence farming it remains a common practice. In the United States drifts of pigs once feasted on the refuse of the cities, livestock of the urban poor.

As global populations increase there is growing concern over food, particularly protein, shortages. Is it a question of production, or one of cultural preference and sanitation?