When it comes to teaching people about animals, we could be doing a lot better. Currently, “for educational purposes,” we take animals out of their natural environments and place them in artificial enclosures that are hardly even a semblance of the life they should be carrying out. We use thousands of pigs to teach biology and anatomy classes. And in many elementary schools today, we subject baby chicks to unnatural hatching, all for the entertainment of children.
While baby chicks normally communicate with their mothers even before they are hatched, the baby chicks in a school hatching program are only met with the faint hum of an incubator. As if the hatching itself isn’t unnatural enough, after the children have a sufficient time with the babies, the little birds simply vanish. Where they end up exactly is up for debate, but if we had to guess, it’s probably not a baby chick sanctuary.
Mon Amie, the baby chick, was one of the hundreds of these unlucky birdies. And she was dealt a particularly rough fate when she came out of her egg with an injured leg that caused her to hobble around instead of hopping around happily like the other birds. With funds already very limited within the school she was in, and the education system in general, teachers couldn’t exactly offer veterinary care for the little one. After all, she was essentially supposed to be a fluffy little prop for the children to play with a bit, all parties involved could check off “learning about chickens” from the to-do list, and that would be it.
While the teachers and other students chalked up the situation as unfortunate, one student felt compelled to help the tiny creature. After convincing the school to surrender the chick, he immediately took the bird to see an avian veterinarian nearby. Her initial condition was diagnosed as angular leg deformity, otherwise known as a “splay leg.” Thankfully, this little one is now in the care of Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary where she is sure to get all the care she needs and a future filled with nothing but love and care.
Although the staff at the school likely thought that this injured bird hindered their educational goal, some could say the situation actually enhanced it. After all, this kind of thing actually happens in real life. Animals, like humans, are not always perfect from the moment they are born. Sometimes they just to happen to be born with deformities. What exactly are we teaching children when we encounter a deformed bird and we see it as a nuisance and simply want to discard ourselves of it?
Society, and the food industry in particular, would very much like us to believe that animals, like baby chicks, are just non-feeling beings who have no personalities and can be disposed of without a second thought. However, when children are exposed to animals, and situations like Mon Amie’s, before society has gotten around to ingraining this ideology in their minds, they don’t interpret things in that way.
Instead, they see a resilient bird who clearly wants to live. A precious life that can be saved. And they want to do everything in their power to make that happen. Now that is a lesson worth learning.
All Images Source: Edgar’s Mission/Facebook