Egg-producing hens are one of the most systematically abused animals in the world. They are confined day in and day out for the entirety of their short lives to barren battery cages that house between five to 10 birds in a space that is less than the size of a standard sheet of paper.
Battery cages are undeniably cruel, yet cage-free facilities are not much better, despite their recent popularity and the purported notion that they are somehow more “humane.”
As the Humane Society of the United States reports, “Both cage and cage-free hens have part of their beaks burned off … [and] are typically slaughtered at less than two years old, far less than half their normal lifestyle. They are often transported long distances to slaughter plants with no food or water.”
In an effort to raise awareness about the plight of egg-producing hens, especially battery-caged ones, Melbourne-based animal protection nonprofit Animals Australia has come up with a creative video campaign under the tagline of “That Ain’t No Way to Treat a Lady” in an effort to change the public’s notion of these intelligent and playful beings.
While the video ads are already a draw with appearances from five of Australia’s “most loved comedians,” its main star is adorable Little Miss Sunshine, a rescued battery hen who is living out the rest of her days at Edgar’s Mission farm sanctuary in Willomavin, Victoria.
Little Miss Sunshine arrived at Edgar’s Mission on June 8, 2013 after her former owner, a farmer, had a change of heart.
“Seeing the creatures he kept confined within cages as living, feeling creatures rather than as ‘production units’ for the very first time, he [realized] he could go on drawing a profit from their suffering no longer as he made the difficult decision to exit the industry and find a better and far kinder way to feed his family,” Edgar’s Mission reports.
All of his 1,081 hens were brought to safety and Little Miss Sunshine came to live at Edgar’s, soon becoming an ambassador for her kind.
“Little Miss Sunshine is everyone’s very own symbol of hope that a kinder future for us all truly is possible,” Edgar’s Mission writes.
Animals Australia already has a 30-second version and 15-second version of Little Miss Sunshine’s ad available online, with the aim of placing the 30-second version on TV and hosting a longer two-minute version online. The Sunday Morning Herald reports that billboards are also in the works.
As Edgar’s Mission writes, “This incredible journey upon which Little Miss Sunshine has embarked not only reminds us all to always be kind but to choose our actions because they are the right thing to do, not because they are the ones that serve us the most.”
Check out photos of Little Miss Sunshine in and around the scene of her TV ad debut!
Visit Animals Australia’s website to find out more about battery cage hens and the organization’s “That Ain’t No Way to Treat a Lady” campaign featuring Little Miss Sunshine.
Lead image source: Animals Australia / Facebook