Who doesn’t love a fluffy baby chick? They’re the tiny ambassadors of cuteness, Youtube videos with these little chirpers get thousands of views and likes, and most people have wanted to experience the joy of holding a baby chick at least once. Unfortunately, just as these birds are perceived as adorable creatures, they are also seen as non-feeling commodities of the meat industry. Every single day, the meat and egg industry flings baby chicks into one of two places: straight to a factory farm, or the garbage. While factory farm workers are trained to act in machine-like fashion, quickly deciding which chicks are fit for consumption and which are not, this hasty decision holds an immensely different destiny for each chick.
We don’t know the exact circumstances as to why the two chicks in the image below, rescued by Santuario Igualdad Interspecie, were discarded but we sure are glad they were.
When a nearby factory farm tossed these chicks away, kind rescuers from this organization swooped in and quickly took up guardianship of them, naming the chicks Alex and Paris. Nestled in their new caretaker’s sweater, these chicks look like any other newborn in need of care. If these chicks had been born in nature, they would be burrowing under their mother’s warm and loving chest. Instead, all they have known is a life of fear, stress, and anxiety.
Witnessing the pleasure and joy these birds get from a simple rub down and the way they chirp and trot about happily, claiming that these animals have emotional depth is undeniable. They, just as every other being on the planet, craves love and comfort.
Why is it that in one scenario we see baby chicks as adorable creatures that we carefully handle as to not hurt a single one of their feathers, and at other times, we see them as nameless, non-feeling objects? Chickens not only feel pain and fear, but they are incredibly smart. They can learn how to do puzzles, and play games, and they are amazing mothers that take care of their babies and even have been seen “talking” and “purring” to their eggs. Baby chicks are even known to show object permanence or the ability to understand object exists, even when they can’t see it. Considering their incredible intelligence and emotional abilities, we must remember that at the end of the day, a chicken isn’t just a menu item, it’s a living, breathing thing.
To learn more about the incredible work being done by Santuario Igualdad Interespecie, visit their website.
All Image Source: Santuario Igualdad Interespecie/Facebook