While many people are pondering just why exactly the chicken crossed the road, those familiar with the miserable lives of chickens raised for human consumption know that the hapless meat chicken is lucky if it can even walk more than a few steps without pain and suffering.
Roo is the sole surviving rooster from a group of 16 rescued meat birds, otherwise known as broilers chickens who arrived at Edgar’s Mission in 2011. Sadly one by pitiful one, Roo’s buddies passed away, not from the ravages of old age but rather due to the typical maladies that plague today’s modern day meat birds. Musculoskeletal, respiratory and heart problems hock burns and sore eyes are just a few of the woes that face these gentle, sensitive and intelligent creatures who have taken on Frankenstein like proportions thanks to human intervention. Selectively bred and fed to grow at three times the rate nature intended, meat chickens, or rather chicks, are only baby birds that reach their desired slaughter weight at just 5-7 weeks of age. If a human baby were to grow at this rate they would weigh 158 kilograms by their second birthday! While 520 million broilers are killed each year for human consumption a massive 20 million chicks do not even make it that far due to dying from various health complications before reaching slaughter weight. This significant loss the meat industry writes off as collateral damage.
But it doesn’t have to be this way; the power is in our hands. Choosing kindness over killing at every opportunity is the most significant contribution each and every one of us can make towards ensuring this world is a better place for all.