I saw a very short video clip of a carefree, free-range chicken in an old-fashioned farmyard that had tarried too long chasing insects, pecking up seeds, and pleasing itself doing those things that chicken do when they are at liberty to live their natural avian lives. It had not noticed that day had turned to dusk and that all the other chickens had gone to roost. The other chickens were nestled down comfortably together under shelter. The video captured just the moment when the solitary chicken realized that it was left out, alone and unprotected. With a horrified squawk that any creature would recognize as dismay, the chicken scrambled for the shelter of its flock as if pursued by the fangs of death, clucking piteously as it fled. When the chicken reached the shelter it flung itself down amidst the others, and began to chirp with the happiness of a chick tucking under its mother's wing. It was a very tender moment.
Since that moment when I understood the depth of the emotions of a chicken, I cannot bear to eat chicken because I have seen other videos of how chickens are tortured from pitiful birth to gruesome death in food animal factories. I eat eggs, pretending to myself that laying hens have an easier life. I turn a blind eye to the plight of other food animals as well, I do not know how to do better. In my youth I wrote many, many protest letters, but it does not seem to have done much good.
I was created an apex omnivore in a death-dealing world and I cannot comprehend any other way to be healthy than eating meat. In a hundred years I supposed more evolved humans will rue our simplicity.
Caption: Why I Don’t Eat Chicken Anymore
by Annmarie Throckmorton 2018