Sunday, September 6, 2009

Humans are humane? Chicks will disagree.

This is a baby chick.

In case you still didn't get it, this is also a baby chick.

Attack of the chicks. Please tell me that you get it already.

Oh, I knew very well what you are feeling right this moment. Go on, feast your eyes some more at these precious photos of cute, charming little chicks with their awesome cuteness that capture their pure innocence cutely.

I remember when I was about 12, my family had a small chicken cage-- no, scratch that - a relatively large chicken cage considering the population. It was the size of four moderately sized washing machine put close together, and it housed three adult chickens (one male, two females) with their little chicks. During the day, we let them out to roam free around the house. They especially liked to dance on the soft, green grass.

I watched the chicks grow up right from their hatching up to adulthood. Man, chickens do have a super swift biological development, and I sometimes wished they would stop growing at day 4. That is when they are cutest (see attached pictures).

Then today I watched something very, very disturbing. Too disturbing indeed that I had to share this with other people - yes, that means you. But this is not because I find it entertaining (read: NOT akin to spamming other people's inbox with stuff that is considered to be hilarious) but because I think the chicks would definitely want the world to know and take some sort of action.

Embedded below is a short documentary recorded at the world's largest egg-laying breed hatchery in Spencer, Iowa. I urge you to watch it immediately. I can guarantee that it is VERY disturbing to anyone, so don't say I didn't warn you. But you still have to, should, and must watch it. (I think I just contradicted myself)

If only Americans knew.

I don't know how exactly it is done here in Australia, but for the poor chicks' sake, I sure hope Aussies have a more gentle and humane story. A true chicken soup for the soul, if you will. (Was that a pun?)

What do we do? I'm not too sure myself. I don't think I will go vegan (as recommended at the end of the video) but at least I found something useful from Daily Finance website. Maybe we can do something after all. To quote:

Addendum: Many commenters have suggested that buying organic or free range eggs is the answer. While that is certainly preferable, it is not the answer; the chicks raised by Hy-Line and other hatcheries using instantaneous euthanasia can and do go to farmers who raise organic and free-range eggs. If you buy your eggs from a grocery store, they are almost certainly the fruit of this broken industry. I realize now that even the chickens I keep in my backyard for eggs (and treat extremely well, in a way incomparable to factory farms) were probably born in a hatchery only to see their brothers head toward the grinder. The answer is to buy chickens and eggs raised by very small, diversified farms. They're probably the ones at your local farmer's market, and they probably charge prices I've mentioned; as much as $5 per dozen for eggs and $6 per pound for meat. Talk to them, learn more about their practices and beliefs, and thank them.

P.S. If you were eating chicken while reading this entry, I apologise for the trauma I may have caused. If it makes you feel any better, the chicken in your hand was probably very well taken care of.

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