A look through someone else’s eyes
It is hard to sympathize with others, it is hard to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes. It is easy to talk about others and decide on their destiny as long as we are not in their place. When it comes to animals, we easily ignore and justify mental and physical sufferings that we are causing them.
However, let us try to get closer to the hen persons who spend their miserable lives living in cages for years so that they can get as many eggs as possible stolen from them. Let us imagine that we are the ones born in an incubator, without a mother and home of our own. Two or three days after our birth we see our brothers get crushed to death or simply thrown into garbage because they are “useless”.
We continue our life path in boxes that are transported to a farm, and we arrive at a line of cages in a shed without windows. We are placed in a cage so that we cannot even stretch, and get stuffed with food and drugs to lay as many eggs as possible. We do not need anything else, right? We do not need a purpose of our existence, we do not need to build social contacts, nor do we need grass. We should be grateful for the opportunity to lay eggs for omelets and cakes; that is enough of a purpose.
How to explain the pain that we are experiencing, are there words to describe the hopeless state that we are in? Despite having our bodies manipulated through generations to lay more eggs, we still do not manage to fill the quota, so they prolong our days with artificial lights and starve us to force our bodies to lay more eggs. We have suppressed our memory of how they painfully trimmed our beaks so we would not peck each other out of desperation, in hope of a better future that does not seem to come. We do not need our beaks, wings or legs anyway, seeing as we do not have the opportunity to use them.
Finally, the day has arrived, our chance for salvation. We are ruthlessly stuffed into boxes, accompanied by the sound of shrieking and breaking legs; stacked on top of each other in trucks, we are taken to a better place – a slaughterhouse. We are hung up by our legs, and hanging upside down we move in line towards the knife; blood is streaming on and on, our bodies keep twitching. Some miss the knife or their heads remain attached even as they are dunked into the boiling water. Our shrieking is soon drowned by the sounds of machines and this is how our lives end, if they can even be called lives.
Oh, it is a good thing that we have only imagined this, the very thought of it was horrible. We are not chickens, this is not about us after all, we can keep eating “our” meat and eggs. Pigs have to be better off; there is no reason to think about how cows and calves feel, it would only ruin “our” milk and cheese. It is best for us to think only about the colorful packaging of products and green pastures from the advertisements and find some justification to keep the status quo.
We have heard of people who have made an amazing step and become vegans and we know that they not only make an impact on the fate of animals, environment and the hungry, but that they also feel healthier, happier and more content. But those are some other people. Although we have heard that it is, in fact, not so difficult, not everyone can do it. Or maybe…?