May 12, 2009
HSI Celebrates Chickens
May is International Respect for Chickens month. On May 4, 2009, Humane Society International, in collaboration with animal advocates around the world, honored the lives of the billions of chickens raised and slaughtered for food each year.
In India alone, nearly 200 million egg-laying hens on factory farms are confined to tiny battery cages so restrictive they can’t even spread their wings. With no opportunity to nest, dust bathe, perch, forage, or exhibit most other natural behaviors, these birds endure lives wrought with suffering. Billions of broiler chickens, though not confined in cages, also experience crowded confinement, poor air quality, and stressful handling, transportation, and slaughter.
HSI’s staff and volunteers distributed nearly two thousand fliers in popular shopping and leisure spots around New Delhi; the fliers educated readers about the realities of factory farming and encouraged them to adopt more humane diets.
HSI staff also worked with six other animal protection groups throughout India, encouraging them to host events in honor of the chickens. The Indian Vegan Society (IVS) was one of those groups. IVS President Shankar Narayan gave a talk about the plight of chickens in his local community on May 4th. “At the end of the talk, it was gratifying to see a few drops of tears rolling down some cheeks,” said Narayan, adding that he hoped participants would channel this emotion into improving the lives of chickens.
HSI Facebook activists in Mexico, the country with the highest per capita egg consumption in the world, also got involved. Facebook activist Christine Dutts, a teacher in Cabo San Lucas, visited different classrooms at the local high school to distribute Respect for Chickens fliers and to speak to students about the horrors of factory farming. “To my surprise, everyone was very interested and listened attentively,” said Dutts, who planned to conduct additional similar outreach at the junior high and 12th grade levels.
Thanks to HSI supporters around the world, billions of factory farmed chickens are finally being given a voice.
To join HSI’s Factory Farming Campaign on Facebook, click here.