Visit to a Sanctuary
I went to a farm sanctuary this week. All the animals had been rescued from various locations. There were three female geese who had literally been taken from the garbage, newborns who were discarded because only the males are used to produce foie gras. There were chickens who had spent their life in battery cages and were experiencing the freedom to walk for the first time. Other animals had been injured and were expendable because they were no longer commercially viable. The good people who run the sanctuary were giving the animals a chance to live out their days in a relatively normal way.
What impressed me was the “personality” of the individual animals. They each made friends and alliances with select others. Some were shy while others were outgoing. Some were aggressive while others were affectionate. There was a lame duck who was so happy when you approached. There was a rooster who kicked me because he saw me as a threat to his “girls”. The family cat coexists with everyone while the dog liked all except one pig who she saw as a competitor. Chickens, who had been acquired from a battery cage operation less than 2 weeks ago after their laying days were over, were scruffy but amazingly social given their lifetime of intensive confinement.
It is a shame what we do to hundreds of millions of animals, each an individual, in the name of efficiency. Very few people know about the suffering that allows them to buy eggs for $2.50 a dozen, or are prepared to pay $5.00 for eggs from free run hens. People eat foie gras and veal without knowing or perhaps not caring that sentient animals were denied the opportunity to have life, as opposed to existence. That should change.