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Mom, Will This Chicken Give Me Man Boobs?    by Robyn Harding order for
Mom, Will This Chicken Give Me Man Boobs?
by Robyn Harding
Order:  USA  Can
Greystone, 2009 (2009)

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* * *   Reviewed by Deb Kincaid

Harding grew up in a British Columbia logging town. 'Obviously, when you live in a city where most of the population makes a living from killing trees, you don't spend a lot of time calculating your carbon footprint.' Such sets the tone for this funny, funny book, Mom, Will This Chicken Give Me Man Boobs? by Robyn Harding, author of four novels.

Referring to varying levels of environmental commitment in shades of green (pale green, mint green, semi-green, deep forest green) she carries us through her convoluted mind as she tries to soothe her troubled conscience over angst-inducing green issues, like the global warming damage from family trips between Vancouver, BC and Perth, Australia to visit her husband's family. With her mom and brothers thinking she's gone quite overboard, her usually supportive husband mourning the loss of meat-centric meals, and her kids pressured to take shorter showers due to guerrilla enviro-parenting ('Time to get out! You're killing a baby polar bear!'), she begins to realize she can't be The Supergreen Mom. She decides to focus on her small portion of the world, and where she'll draw the line in order to live a greener lifestyle.

As she recycles, packs kids' lunches in reusable-nonlittering lunchboxes, and walks everywhere she can, Harding accepts the fact that bus riding will never be in her picture, and she refuses to give up air travel - albeit traveling less often and in economy class (more seats per area), staying thin and lightweight, and committing to purchase offsets.

According to Harding, 'we could all be accused of ... convenient environmentalism,' at some point, in some way. So, we do what we reasonably can, and 'raise kids who care about trees and animals and people and the earth.' And do it with a sense of humor!

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