Fighting for animal liberation and an end to speciesism
A chicken is a ranging, foraging animal by nature. Chickens need plenty of fresh air, sunshine, exercise, and fresh greens to stay healthy and feel good. They thrive best in small flocks with a rooster, several hens, and a group of eager young chicks playing about. In fact they are very intelligent and can be part of one’s family along with the dogs, cats, etc. They are brave in as much they would rather die for their chicks than seek safety in flight. The mother hen tenderly cares for her chicks and roosters protect their families and flocks. In reality then they actually deserve our respect and admiration. I am quite sure many people who have been around chickens or raised them could tell stories of the bond of friendship they established with these birds and how devoted they are to raising their young.
Unfortunately chickens in today’s meat and egg factories do not live outdoors in the sun and grass and do not enjoy natural social lives. They are not treated kindly. They are cruelly debeaked and forced to live in filthy disease infected sheds. Day after day they have no choice but to breathe poisonous excretory ammonia fumes which hurt their delicate eyes and wreak havoc with their lungs. Many are blinded by the ammonia.
The argument that a group of individuals is “all alike” has been used throughout human history as an excuse for the oppression of that group. If the individuals are “all alike” they become impersonal, and harming them seems less wrong or horrendous. Chickens, whether intelligent or “stupid”, individual or identical, are sensitive beings. They feel pleasure and pain and they experience fear and well-being. This is enough to make it wrong to cause them pain and suffering.
Therefore on this International Respect for Chickens Day, May 4th, let us learn how to pay back this noble bird which has not only, unfortunately for its sake, has given us food, but more importantly love and affection through making its living conditions much more favorable and treating the chicken as one who loves life as much as we do.
To learn more about the incredible chicken write or contact United Poultry Concerns, Inc., PO Box 150, Machipongo, VA 23405-0150, Phone: 757-678-7875, FAX: 757-678-5070, website: www.upc-online.org.