Chickens are beautiful animals. They're smart. They know math (more math than a fair number of human beings). They bond with their parents, brothers and sisters, and offspring. And each one is special and has a unique way of doing things.
Chickens also experience the worst treatment of any factory farm animals.
Above, I have posted a video by Mercy For Animals (MFA) showing the treatment of chickens at Ohio Fresh Eggs in Croton, Ohio. It is gory. It is heartbreaking. It shows chickens experiencing the worst treatment imaginable. And it is Standard Operating Procedure in chicken farms across the country.
It is sad to see these beautiful animals being violently de-beaked. It is sadder to see them bleeding and hurt and developing terrible sores from their ghastly treatment. But the saddest thing of all is the look of resignation on their faces. They are the living dead. They've given up on life. They are so used to being packed in together like so many ruthlessly exploited commodities.
My friends, it is so, so painful to watch.
If you don't believe this is how chickens are treated in farm after farm after farm across North America, do yourself a favor: Watch MFA's video investigation of the Weaver Brothers Egg Farm in Ohio. Or watch this video by East Bay Animal Advocates of a California Egg Farm. Watch this video by Compassion Over Killing shot at multiple egg farms. Watch this Associated Press video on the horrible treatment of baby chicks.
I could go on and on and on. You get the picture.
By the way, last month I wrote a column for The Waterloo Region Record about factory farm fires that generated angry letters to the editor and a counterpoint column. Interestingly, not a single one of these people who didn't like me pointing out how ghastly and immoral it is that tens of thousands of animals die horrific deaths in factory fires each year in Canada offered a direct challenge to my assertions.
When confronted with the truth, foes of animal rights seldom challenge the truth. More typically, they lash out at the messenger or try to portray animal rights advocates as nut cases or enemies of farmers. It's a load of garbage. And it's a fallacy. We're not the enemies of farmers. We are opposed to anyone who abuses and mistreats animals. And we are determined to use our voices to help the voiceless, no matter what the cost.
Yesterday, a fire at a factory farm in Abbotsford, British Columbia killed 32,000 broiler chickens. Add that to the almost 80,000 animals who have already perished in farm fires in Canada since January 2010 and now you are looking at MORE THAN 100,000 ANIMALS WHO HAVE DIED IN FARM FIRES IN 2010 ALONE (and we're only in June, people). See the article on the Abbotsford fire here, complete with a video.
There will always be men and women who will do their damnedest to justify this sorry state of affairs. They are the heirs of the same inhumane worldview of the men and women who defended slavery in the 19th Century. History has left slavery's defender's in the dust. In time, History will do the same to those who seek to justify the terrible treatment of factory farm animals.