I Was a Chicken

I am a chicken. I have the same five senses as you. I can see, smell, touch, hear, and taste. I experience pain, misery, loneliness, and happiness. I like to socialize and enjoy time with my family and friends. I am intelligent and follow a pecking order. I can recognize other chickens by sight and smell. I nest and nurture my young. I chirp dozens of vocalizations and speak my own language. I have a long term memory. I like to sit in trees. I run towards food because I enjoy eating. I am scared of loud noises. From the day I am born until the day I die, I am abused. I am a chicken.

The majority of humans show no regard for my life. They show me no mercy but ask for it for themselves and those they love, including animals they keep as pets. They cannot watch someone kill me but they pay others to do it. They call themselves animal lovers while they pay for people to abuse me. If only they could hold me me in their arms, they would not eat me.

I am a chicken. I am born and held captive in crowded in a warehouse where I am unable to move freely my entire life. I do not ever see the light of day or breathe fresh air unless I am transported in a truck where I will often die from cold weather exposure or heat stroke. I sleep in my own feces or the feces from cages above that fall on my head.

Factory farmers mislead you into believing I am treated humanely by telling you that I am free-range but they abuse me in ways that would shock you. “Free-range” or “cage-free” means that instead of putting me in a cage, I am packed on a sordid warehouse floor where I live with thousands of other chickens in less than a square foot of space for each of us. They tell you I am cage-free so you will feel less guilty when you buy my remains.

They cut off my beak with a hot blade. It is excruciating pain. I do not receive anesthesia. They cut my beak off so when I go crazy from being confined, I do not fight with other chickens and kill them.  It is not my nature to kill chickens any more than it is your nature to kill people. Imagine the living conditions that would cause me, such a gentle animal, to kill another chicken.

I am genetically altered to grow twice as fast as I am supposed to grow. I am so heavy that I cannot stand anymore. The weight breaks my legs. I am fed growth hormones that you ingest when you eat me. If you are eating chickens like me, you are on steroids. Our hearts and lungs cannot support the forced growth causing billions of us to die before slaughter. I am filled with antibiotics to prevent my death before I am killed. You eat those antibiotics and your body develops an immunity to them which places you at risk to resist them when you get sick and need them. You think you know what I taste like but you do not. I am stuffed with unhealthy preservatives and flavorings that create what you believe tastes like a chicken.

Unsanitary living conditions cause us to die of thirst, overheating, infections, and diseases. It is common for 20,000 of us to be crammed in one broiler house in a factory. The electrical current used to kill us is often set low so it does not ruin the meat on our bones.

In many cases, it does not kill us and we are thrown into a scolding hot tank of water to remove our feathers while we are still conscious. You can hear us scream from a mile away.

A mechanical blade is also used to slash our throats. Many times it is not properly aligned and only partially slashes our throats, leaving us to die miserable deaths. These killing errors happen to millions of us. If you think my life is bad, read about what they do to battery hens to lay eggs. Their lives are even worse.

I experience the most severe fear and pain during this process, which would not happen if you did not eat me. Now that you know what happens to us, I hope you will stop supporting the industry that confines, tortures, and kills chickens like me.

I am a chicken. If I could speak your language, I would beg you not to eat me anymore. I want to be free like other birds. I want you to respect my life on this earth as you value your own. Forget cruel cultural norms. Does this look right to you? Does it align with your values?

Knowing what you know now, that you do not need to eat me to survive, that I suffer as a result of you choosing to eat me, and that you say you love animals, are you still going to pay someone to torture and kill me? Or will you make a humane decision and refrain and ask others to follow your lead? Will you live by your values or only abide by them when they are convenient? I want my life to matter to you. I want to live.

I was a chicken.

22 thoughts on “I Was a Chicken

  1. I admire your work. I am writing in a similar fashion to influence the unaware or indifferent to from a place of empathy and compassion take action to protect, defend and lend voice to innocent living beings who cannot speak for themselves. Am happy to have found you on WordPress. Your posts will be on my future radar and I am very sure will serve as an inspiration to me and MANY others.

    I will share a link to this post on our facebook page at; http://www.facebook.com/TheAnimalSpirits

    Many Blessings!

    ~Gerean Pflug for “The Animal Spirits”

      1. This is excellent. I’m making a chicken board for my next outreach and the information was really useful. Lesley x

  2. I love what you are doing! maybe this will change some hearts and maybe some will grow one. I don’t know, though. I have a friend who watched Earthlings (per my request) he seems to be unphased. I suppose he will be one of the unlucky ones who will be forced to either change or starve when it becomes mandatory. I believe this may be possible if we stay strong and raise awareness. I have already changed the hearts of two for sure. One being family. keep up the good work. #greenisthenewred #peaceonearth #wewillrise

  3. This makes me so sad. I love chickens. When I was in high school a friend gave me 3 pet hens [Rhode Island Reds]. They were the sweetest little creatures, so full of life and personality. I was shocked when they learned how to do various things by watching my cats: using a litter box [!], jumping over the fence, and more. They responded to their names. They loved being cuddled just like any other pet. They were what triggered me to become a vegan. Chickens [and all other animals] do not deserve to be treated with such sadistic cruelty. I think it is so bizarre that people say farm animals are stupid as a way to justify eating them. It has been proven that birds are smart, why would we say that chickens are not? [Even if they were stupid, what does it matter?]

  4. Very great topic and writing congragulations. “Chickens are the most disrespected and mistreated animals on the face of the earth” We are on the same page. We have to show respect towards animals ,especially those we benefit for food.

  5. Yes, chickens do fly when giving them corn out of a can. Some even like wet cat food in the winter. Roosters crow when his hen is about to lay an egg. They’re really neat birds.

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