Tuesday, September 4, 2007
David Suzuki is one of my heroes. He writes a column for the Vancouver Sun called Small Steps where he lists simple things that each of us can do to make a difference to the health of our planet. All the little things we do will add up to make a big difference.
One of the little things I do is support the Vancouver Humane Society. This society works hard to promote and ensure the humane treatment of animals.
In recent months they have focused on the plight of battery chicken (egg-laying hens that are kept in small cages.) On their Chicken Out! website (http://www.chickenout.ca/project_information.php) they describe the living conditions of these chicken.
"In battery cages, there is no space for hens to flap or stretch their wings. When they try, their wings sometimes become trapped in the bars of the cage. Vertical space is limited and hens are often unable to stand up fully and raise their heads without hitting the bars of the cage.
Their beaks are sliced off with a laser or hot blade to prevent pecking at other birds.
The birds are clearly suffering from extreme feather loss, and you will even see some escaped birds left to languish on a pile of manure three feet deep.
Battery barns in Canada hold thousands of cages, each holding five to seven birds, in tiers of two to eight cages high, with farms averaging 17,100 birds."
All it takes is one small step by consumers and we can end this cruel treatment of hens. We simply have to purchase free-range eggs (or Happy Eggs as my family calls them.) (The picture at the top of this post is of happy, cage-free birds.) The eggs of cage-free birds cost a little more, but it is worth it. Just check out the photos on the Chicken Out! website and you'll never buy eggs from battery chicken again.