Those beautiful, downy little newborn chicks, freshly hatched from their prenatal calcium carbonate home, are amazing beings. They come fully equipped with a most sensitive beak which will allow them to hunt for food, two strong legs with claws for scratching the earth, and a body full of tiny feathers which will eventually grow into beautiful plumage to protect the new little life from the elements. They have the ability to make the most pleasant chirping noises, so their mums may find them if they lose their way. They will have the ability to be aerodynamic, to live peacefully in community, and to be part of a family. They will require little on which to live, just a few things scratched from the earth and a humble kind of shelter. They are born into an hierarchy that may seem archaic through our anthropo-centric lens, but the paternal rooster looks after his flock and finds them food, calling to them, making certain they eat even before he does himself. The mother hen is protective of her brood; they stay close to her for warmth and safety.
The Brief Life of a Hatchling
Because some human decided to steal their eggs and lived to tell of the deed, billions of their brethren are snatched from their natural lifecycle and used in the cruel and profitable egg industry. The babies are hatched into plastic trays, without a mother to help them learn to grow, to talk to them, comfort them, and help them learn their place in the world. They are then put on an industrial conveyer belt, and anyone of them who is suspected of the crime of masculinity is tossed down an industrial chute, to become industrial waste. They are either sent to a mascerator that grinds them from life to lifeless mass, or puts them into a trash box where they slowly suffocate as more and more of their fellow roosterlings are tossed down the same chute. Imagine putting a puppy or a human infant into a wood chipper – this is what is happening to the newborn male chicks in the standard practice of the egg industry. This is happening to some of the most harmless and endearing creatures on earth, little downy beings that are often portrayed in the nurseries of our own infants, symbols of innocence, gentleness, and vulnerability.
The Waste of Industrial Farming
Any practice that includes the use of others against their will, the theft of the infants of other species, condemnation to either a life in a toxic environment, continual assault on their bodily integrity, slaughter while fully conscious while hanging by their legs, or instant cruel and painful death as a brand new hatchling – any such complete disrespect should be condemned for what it is. It is an insult to the natural order and to all things decent.