Excerpt from an interesting essay from Verlyn Klinkenborg:

Every chicken that looks at you sideways—which is how they all look at you—is really saying what Thoreau said less succinctly: you are endeavoring to solve the problem of a livelihood by a formula more complicated than the problem itself. Thoreau himself would not dispute that he was hoping to recover the chicken’s point of view. He went to Walden Pond "to remember well his ignorance."