Friday, 1 August 2008
Not a great way to spend life, is it? (Matt 26:75)
But this is the UK... a nation of animal lovers and there are moves to change the circumstances these animals live under, but at the moment the situation is that poultry scientists have bred chickens which grow fast. As they grow, their living space – smaller than an A4 piece of paper for each bird – gets more and more cramped as they near the end of their short lives. With around 17 birds packed into each square metre they have barely enough space to walk, preen, stretch their wings or even turn around.
Such cramped conditions and rapid growth cause severe welfare problems. Chronic lameness is common – one third of chickens have difficulty walking without pain. The stress on their hearts and lungs can cause heart failure. About 5% die or have to be culled prematurely. A typical chicken shed holds 40,000 birds, they never set foot outside or see natural light, they feed around the clock - with as little as one hour of darkness for every 24 hour period but there is a plus point... our chickens and eggs are cheap!
To put it bluntly, these animals are living in torture conditions. I was thinking about this recently when the circumstances of Jesus being denied three times by Peter came to mind and a cockerel crowed. Alone in all of creation a chicken cried out at the betrayal of God. They have certainly paid for it since then, haven't they?
Posted by Fr. Peter Doodes at 07:02