Alice Walker: I experience the world as truly wonder-ful. Its creatures are endlessly marvelous to me. Its air, its colors, its winds and its seas, all astonishing. Chickens are no less incredible than elephants or moose. Or giraffes or rabbits. And I would want young children especially, who join grown-ups in eating a million chickens an hour, to realize they are eating something precious, beautiful, rare. And that they have a say in changing the way chickens are thought about and raised. Most chickens are raised under horrible, torturous conditions unworthy of the good heart that exists in many of the small children eating them. Children can become great activists when they understand their solidarity with other living beings: they can learn to be a force against the dehumanizing practice of torture early in life, by fully understanding, while they are still young, what they’re putting into their mouths. I also reconnected with an ancient meditation that I believe all peoples who have lived close to animals, especially chickens, have experienced; I also believe this meditation—sitting with animals, chickens in my case—has been part of the foundation of cultures that have managed to sustain hundreds of years of peace. We have lost the peace we once shared with the other animals and with it our peace with ourselves on the planet. They are earthlings too, just as we are. The mother of chickens is also our own mother. We belong to her and to each other in ways beyond factory farming and the mindless eating of a “product.” To reclaim an honorable relationship with the other animals of the planet will make all of us humans begin to feel at home again. Jasmin Singer Executive Director http://www.ourhenhouse.org Our Hen House … a place to find our way to change the world for animals
I……I do not understand the human race, that has so little love for creatures with a different face. Treating animals like people is no madness or disgrace. I do not understand the human race.
Why do we treat animals like animals? How can people be so inhumane? Cows and chickens work to feed us. Dogs and horses show they need us. And though cats don’t always heed us, their affection is plain.
What do we do? We neglect them! We do nothing to protect them! We reject them – don’t expect them to complain!
We ignore them or we beat them! when we’re hungry, then we eat them! It’s appalling how we treat them! It’s insane! Like……animals!
We humiliate and murder and confine them! We create their wretched status, then we use it to malign them! I mean, why should we say “treat him like a dog”? Why should we say “working like a horse”? Why should we say “eating like a hog”? When what we mean is “eating like a man”! Don’t we? Of course!
A man of ill-repute is called a weasel or a rat. A woman you dislike becomes a vixen or a cat. A family that is blessed with healthy reproductive habits occasions the remark “well you know them – they breed like rabbits!”
“He’s as stubborn as a mule!” “He’s as stupid as an ox!” “He’s as slimy as a snake!” “He’s as crafty as a fox!” remarks like that really get my goat!
Why can’t we say “noble as a frog”? Why don’t we say “healthy as a hen”? True we say “devoted as a dog” – but what we should say is “chic as a giraffe!” “Pretty as a pig!” eh? That’ll be the big day, won’t it? But when?……but when?……but when……?
When will we stop treating them like animals? Is the human race entirely mad? Women see a baby goatskin – or a lambskin or a stoat skin – and to them it’s just a coat skin! Oh, it’s terribly sad!
When you dress in suede or leather, or some fancy fur or feather, do you stop and wonder whether, for a fad, you have killed some beast or other? – that you’re wearing someone’s brother? – Or perhaps it’s someone’s mother in which you’re clad! –
Like animals! Like animals! Like animals!
It’s true we do not live in a zoo… but man is an animal, too! So why can’t you – like me – like animals!