Wednesday, February 9, 2011

For the birds....

There are many relatives of Alex the parrot who end up with much less benign lives than the one experienced by Alex. Some do get lucky and are looked after by caring folks. This video shows the efforts of the people at Chicken Run Rescue in Minnesota to make life a little better for the feathered people (no graphic images of abuse or cruelty).

The frequency (in terms of the number of lives) and severity of abuse and death visited upon those birds collectively called "poultry" (chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese) is unparalleled...genuinely beyond belief

Everything from grinding up baby chicks in woodchippers to scalding fully conscious birds to death is an everyday occurance...not to mention the 250 million plus female chickens that are confined in crowded battery cages for the first 2 years of their lives. These animals never see sunshine, never breathe fresh air and...after 2 years or so (normal lifespan - 7 to 12 years) these victims are thrown into crowded crates and trucked to slaughterhouses. No federal laws protect these animals from anything. They are totally without protection of any kind from any sort of torture or abuse.

If you eat these animals or eggs from these animals or use feathers from them...then you should look here, here and here. There are no words adequate to convey the horror of what we human animals do to these innocuous and harmless beings.

Several years ago I saw a brief video about a duck that had been raised by a woman. The video showed the duck attempting to follow the woman as she was going somewhere in an automobile and his obvious desire to not be separated from her.

One way we denigrate and minimize these elegant beings is to, instead of saying they love someone or are attached to someone, we say they are "imprinted". Then somehow we can distance ourselves from their feelings and look down upon their emotions.....and behave as if their feelings are inconsequential or mechanical and unworthy of consideration.

I remember thinking when I saw this video (no graphic images of abuse or cruelty) that Larry loves this woman and does not want to be separated from her...he is doing all he can to not be left behind by her. Is Larry any different than any of us in this respect? Who has not felt the pangs of being left behind by someone they wanted to stay with? Who has not wished they had wings so they could follow? Here we see a beautiful feathered fellow who has wings, and does his best to stay with the one he cares about.

Who cannot have a great deal of empathy and respect and warmth for Larry?

If you follow this link you can watch a short video of Audrey the chicken...she was rescued from a farm supply store and loves to nap on soft blankets.

Many people are not familiar at all with chickens or ducks or turkeys or geese. They are children of this planet Earth too. They love, fear, have friends, have enemies, care for their children, hanker to stay around those they like and on and on...just like you (and me).  No matter how much we try to pretend that they are "less than" us....they aren't. Their lives are not ours...they are as entitled to live how they want as much as we are.

Respect them (and yourself) by living as an ethical vegan. Support organizations that attempt to help feathered folks like Chicken Run Rescue and United Poultry Concerns...and think of Larry...and smile.


Krissa said...

Well, Larry just about gave me a heart attack flying so close to the car. I'm happy for him that he can live his life being loved and not being tortured and that he won't have the hideous death of a farmed duck - but I'm not sure he'll have a natural death after seeing him flying near his friend's car. Hopefully there won't ever be anything in his way, like a semi truck or something. ... Birds are such wonderful, wonderful creatures and they really do get treated more cruelly than most of us can imagine. It is heartbreaking. And anyone who has ever spent any time with birds suffers an especially acute agony when thinking about what they suffer through. I will always be horrified that up until a little over a year ago or so, I was eating "free-range" eggs. I am ashamed of that. But at least I stopped. I just wish I could repay the suffering I contributed to. .. Thanks for sharing the videos. And thanks for speaking up for the birds.

veganelder said...

Thank you Krissa for commenting. I too wish the woman had been a little more careful for Larry...I am presuming this behavior was not unusual for him but prudence would suggest she should have stashed him in a safe place when she traveled anywhere...or take him in a carrier with her. Still and all, Larry captured my heart when I saw this.

I too wish I could repay...but, we can only do what we can from this moment forward...and live with the regret...for the birds. Thank you for caring.

Christina said...

In California a man was involved in cockfighting, one of the roosters clipped his calf with those damn knives they put on the roosters feet. The man bled out and died. Now, I take no joy or satisfaction in his death but I will say this: Karma is a BITCH!

veganelder said...

Thank you Christina for commenting. I saw that story you reference...we humans better hope no serious balancing occurs or the human population will be sparse indeed.

So I'm Thinking Of Going Vegan said...

How fun to read about Larry in Dutch! And good observation about the word "imprint" -- language really does reflect how we feel about other animals.

veganelder said...

Thank you for commenting SITOGV. We seem to work hard at pretending we aren't animals, don't we?

Christina said...

So true VE. If karma was really in play that most likely 98% of humans would be long gone. Myself included.

Bea Elliott said...

Thank you so much for this post dedicated to the birds! Just a week ago I listened to this interview with Mary Britton Clouse:

It's obvious she and her husband have dedicated their lives to these precious beings. How rewarding to rescue so many little ones lost in a world that just see's them as "chicken."

The short video of how Audry came to be is not an unfamiliar story... Jolie, Hope and Lucy came to me "free" as give-a-ways at the feed store too. The smallest injury to chicks or chickens them makes them a prime candidate for "disposal". The monetary value of their lives is pennies... So the time and energy to nurse them to health becomes "unprofitable." In the trash they go... But then again, as mentioned - this happens to millions of male chicks all the time! Cut and dry. Small scale or large - That's the business end of "poultry."

So few get a chance to blossom as the unique beings that they are. I'm grateful to anyone who gives these birds the respect they're due. <3