The other day, I came home to a cage full of panting chickens, some of whom were pecking at the large scratches on their cagemates’ necks from the Meat Bird Attack of ’09, while others were laying down in their own excrement, and I had an urge to construct a temperature-controlled building, throw them all in stackable cages, and THEN they would be happy and well-cared for.
My second round into this, there’s something to be said for chickens that live their whole lives in cages, without fear of predators. And they never have to stand in their own shit, as it’s whisked away on a giant shit conveyor belt moments after it leaves their bodies. They never run out of water, because their caretakers are automatic machines, and not humans who get home from work sometimes after 6 or 7 p.m.
They never pant in the 90-degree heat.
They never have bloody wounds, or their fellow chicken friend’s bloody stump head, for that matter, to peck at.
Sometimes I honestly wonder if I am doing the right thing, or if my meddling in the process has actually made things much worse for these chickens.
I hope that the hours spent running around in the grass, the time spent pecking at bugs in the ground, cancels out all the rest of it.
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