in life is to provide eggs for grocery customers, I just couldn't get over
the idea that
some people could be so uncaring and cruel as to just stick a number of
hens in a small
battery cage which didn't even give them the "luxury" of movement which
living beings need.
I was even shocked and disappointed that a group of monks living in Georgia
battery hens and THEY SAW NOTHING WRONG WITH THIS. They said they were
following the prescriptions of the government regulatory agency which
battery cages and such cruel practices as molting (depriving hens of food
for a period
of time to spur egg-laying). Where was their compassion?
As for the cruel, packed confinement -even jailed prisoners are given cells
can at least have some restricted movement, and they are criminals. These
guilty of any wrong doing, but we treat them shamefully and inexcusably.
cannot even spread their wings-something which is natural to their
How much space is each hen given? Per Wayne Pacelle of HSUS, he reported
Oprah Winfrey show which dealt with comparing CAFO farm animals and those
traditional farms that the CAFO hens each had the space of a sheet of paper
to move on.
Certainly, this small space was unbelievably restricting and caused much
each and every hen.
I miss some of Oprah's shows such as this one. No one has since provided
teaching moments like this. On one of her shows she even took us into a
slaughterhouse. Some of the "experts" she brought aboard explained the
One of them foolishly observed that the cows had a good life until this
cafo animals NEVER have a good day -- each is a day of horrendous
hope anybody who disputes this will make it a point to visit a chicken
Oprah-please come back! We need to see programs like the two mentioned
Knowledge is important if we ever hope to change the lives of these
A RESCUED BATTERY HEN NAMED SARAH DEFIED THE ODDS AND SURVIVED
Aside from what I wrote above, I did not know all that much of what
to a chicken living in these intolerable conditions. I knew that when
producing capabilities were over, they would be slaughtered. But what
those precious few who were rescued? In what condition were they in? I
they could just pick up and start enjoying a normal chicken life. I was
wrong. Being in
those battery cages wreaked havoc on their fragile bodies.
Karen Davis of United Poultry Concerns reprinted with permission from Food
Empowerment a story of one of the rescued hens named Sarah.
Sarah was rescued from a battery-cage facility in Ohio. She and the other
hens were missing feathers and their bodies were almost bare as a result.
were murky after living in the amonia-filled air which naturally arose
tfrom the manure
piles. Imagine to have to live their lives in this stifling, putrid
Of all of them, Sarah was the the most damaged by this experience. She
bone fractures which hadn't properly healed. As a result, she could not
Poor Sarah -- the other rescued chickens were soon out and about in the
the other rescued chickens in the sanctuary, but here was Sarah,
featherless and crippled
with a broken leg.
Would she mend? Her prognosis was not good. No one expected her to rally
or to even
live very long.
But Sarah would surprise everyone as she began getting up a little each day
deformed legs. She began to move cautiously. Her feathers were coming
back, and even
they noticed a change in her expression. It was no longer lusterless and
Now she appeared to be more alert and interested in her surroundings.
Everyone at the sanctuary were happy were to see her out and about -- even
on the porch. One day she was brought into the house. There the personal
attention she was
receiving made a huge impact on her continued wellness.
The writer was amazed at how this personal attention contributed to her
over all well being.
And when Sarah was carried up the steps to the porch, she was surprised
when Sarah began
laying eggs once again. Yes, Sarah was out of the woods now, and she was
well on the
road to a complete recovery to almost everyone's surprise and joy. She
happiness after all the suffering she experienced in those egg battery
cages from hell.
ANOTHER DEBILITATING EFFECT OF LIVING IN A BATTERY CAGE.
This sancturay has adopted hundreds of egg-laying hens from the battery
imprisoned them for most of their lives. These were the lucky ones.
because after being
rescued, they were placed gently on the ground, and for the very first
time in their lives
they felt the warm inviting earth under their feet.
Sadly though - because they were never exercised along with the relentless
calcium which was depleted from their bodies for eggshell formation -these
from varying degrees of osteoporosis.
The egg industry calls their osteoporosis "caged layer fatigue." Naturally
these hens would
have diffculty standing and spreading their wings. The writer described
them further with
a word description which should make all of us who care abut animal
of our treatment of these innocent creatures of God:
"Their bones are very fragile, often fractured, and sometimes broken. They
have a washed-
out appearance in their eyes, and their combs (the red crown on top of
their heads turn
yellowish-white in the battery cage), as do their legs, and feet. Their
toenails are long and
spindly from never having scratched vigorously in the ground like normal
fresh from an egg-laying facility look like spectral ballerinas, exhumed
from an underworld."
I know that other ethical vegans will agree with me that we are grateful
that we have no
need of eggs at all. One day hopefully, more will join us in compassion or
if they need
eggs so badly- that they will join us in agitating for the abolishment of
battery cages which
imprison so many, many thousands innocent hens each and every day. And God
people in sanctuaries who can save a precious few from this terrible
FOOTNOTE: I felt this should be quoted directly from the post:
"Everything Sarah had known prior to being rescued was designed to defeat
and her will because the egg industry dismisses any notion that these
retain natural instincts and behaviors (apart from laying eggs).
Commercial egg producers
ridicule the idea that a person could have a friendly relationship with
But Sarah was not defeated. She eventually chose to join the chickens
outdoors, where she
held her own as a respected member of the flock, and we felt privileged to
have had the
opportunity to spend several wonderful years with her before she
Thanks to all the people who gave this one little hen and the others a
chance to be chickens
the way God intended. I hope we all learned something from Sarah's story --
above all that life
is precious to all living beings. We should treat them the way we would
want to be treated if
we were in their place. If they are needed for food -- all the more reason
to treat them with
kindness and compassion.