Monday, March 5, 2012

extend your compassion by millions and billions!

Tufted Titmouse
One of the things we have always loved most about our home, is the screened-in deck, that extends off the dining room. However, there are times, like this morning that the love wanes. A tufted titmouse, a bird I enjoy watching, was trapped inside. While there are two doors that lead to the outdoors, the large (12X12) screened area and high ceiling can be quite tricky to a bird. Luckily, after several failed attempts to help, the bird found the doorway to freedom. I cheered the bird on as he/she flew to the highest treetop.

Most all of us are very compassionate when it comes to one being that is in distress or discomfort. It has always baffled me though, how our compassion seems to lessen as the numbers increase. We can detach when large amounts of individuals are involved since our brains cannot wrap itself around massive numbers. As we try to visualize hundreds of thousands, millions, billions - we just shutdown.

I have been following the recent incident of the 50,000 hens that were left to starve to death. It is my hope that they did not live or die in vain. For me, this story brought home the realities even deeper of  what I already knew about factory farming -  it is cruel without doubt or exceptions. The contrast is vivid as you watch the rescued hens able to scratch dirt, build nest, dust bathe, bask in the sun, and perch for the FIRST time ever! Doesn't that sound odd to you? The natural behaviors of a being, the very behaviors they were built to perform, denied for their entire lives.
  Animal Place and Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary coordinated the largest farm animal rescue in California history. More than 4,400 hens were pulled from A&L Poultry in Turlock, California after the owner left the hens without food for more than two weeks. Sign the petition to prosecute the Owner, Andy Keung Cheung
In factory farms, hens are placed cramped and crowded, in  battery cages. Sharing the cage with other hens this give each individual the the space of a sheet of paper (8.5 X11) which is actually ONE FOURTH the MINIMUM space they require (4 square feet).  So, what kind of space would 50,000 hens need as a MINIMUM to perform their basic natural behaviors? 250 acres or 100 city blocks. But yet, they are crammed into a shed. Additionally, they are not able to spread their wings, peck,scratch the earth, and never see or feel the light of the sun. These types of denials cause beings to go insane, literally, as it goes against all they are genetically made-up to do.

Can you imagine spending your entire life with your arms folded or legs crossed never able to extend them? Would you allow your companion animal to live in a cramped cage, not able to turn around, stand up, groom itself, never seeing daylight? NO! Because it is beyond cruel. Yet, we allow these acts to happen in our country, to BILLIONS of animals daily as they are raised and slaughtered for food.

Unfortunately, there are no federal laws to protect farmed animals from cruelty. The industry makes it's own rules and their practices quickly become industry standards and norms. Cruelty cases such as the 50,000 hen's case are not rare - they have become the industry standard.  As consumer's we give a "thumbs-up" to cruelties such as these every time we make a purchase of an animal based product. Supply and demand. Choose an alternative, extend your compassion today, and consider a plant-based diet. You can  Get a Free Starter Kit to help you begin. All individuals have the right and are deserving of living out the lives they were built to live; whether that is wagging their tail, folding their arms, bathing in dust, or flying to the highest tree top. 

1 comment:

  1. Mark Pruitt3/5/12, 4:46 PM

    Just watch the video link on this post and you'll never view a tufted titmouse the same again. And why are there no animal cruelty laws for farmed animal? I mean regardless of you food habits, it just seems like something a sane society would do. Are we sane?