Animal Writes
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From 15 May 2005 Issue

Slaughter-Bound City Birds Find Country Life a Breeze
From [email protected]

Birds and more birds-many from the five boroughs of Manhattan-are among the residents of CAS. Thanks to the intervention of kind-hearted humans, all escaped certain death and are enjoying, for the first time in their lives, life on a farm.

Consuela, a broiler hen, was found wandering in the meatpacking district of lower Manhattan. Like the billions of hens bred for meat, Consuela was fed massive quantities of growth hormones and antibiotics, and suffers a variety of maladies due to this treatment. Her obesity makes mere walking a challenge. She is unable to perch, she overheats and is constantly short of breath. Due to genetic manipulation, her life expectancy is just a single year. Yet she delights in human companionship, waddling up in hopes of being carried around in our arms. Once we pick her up, she coos and slowly blinks her eyes. We are happy to help her enjoy her limited time here.

Henny, meanwhile, was bought from a city slaughterhouse for $3.00 and left inside a Bronx mailbox as a joke. Neither amused nor concerned about the animal, the mailbox owner threw Henny into the street, where she was rescued by a young couple who cared for her in their apartment.

Flicker, a feisty duckling, came all the way from Staten Island. An unwanted gift, Flicker was surrendered to CAS, then adopted, along with Quackers, another homeless duck, by a wonderful family.

Little Chico, meanwhile, is a bantam rooster who escaped from a Brooklyn-based Santeria group. Fated to be a live sacrifice, Chico was spared by good karma and a good neighbor. TooCoo, a second rooster, survived New York's "mean streets" for three years! His rescuers, Gloria and Ernest Kuhn of Queens, admired the gorgeous boy as he perched on rooftops, stoops, trees, and trashcans. Not everyone in the neighborhood felt similarly, however. Annoyed by his early morning wake up calls, they tried to kill him. "I was desperate to help him," explained Gloria. "He's such a courageous boy." Luckily, Gloria managed to catch TooCoo before he was squashed beneath a tire, and the city boy is certainly enjoying the country life!

Next came Brooklyn. "My son saw her hovering beside a loading dock," explained Christine Huck. "The truck had broken down on the side of the road… somehow she got out." Assisted by his friends, who blocked him from the driver's view, Christine's son snuck her on a bus and came home, and puzzled but proud Mom called CAS.

Our culture does not consider the chicken deserving of human consideration. Each year, billions of these animals know only misery and terror from birth to death. We encourage members and friends to research the lives of broiler and egg-laying chickens, to consider how small changes in your one's life can impact many of these animals, and to visit Catskill Animal Sanctuary in upstate New York , where a visit with Chico, Consuela, Brooklyn and many others might just have you uttering what one teary-eyed visitor recently did: "Oh… I get it now…"

Catskill Animal Sanctuary

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