Open Letter to Irish Farmers
An Animal Rights Article from All-Creatures.org

FROM

Eden Farm Animal Sanctuary
December 2013

Several weeks ago I circulated as many Irish 'poultry' farmers as I could find addresses for with the following Open Letter to Irish Farmers, asking them to spare the life of even one bird. So far not a single life has been spared. Apart from one nasty phone call from someone attempting to defend exploitation for profit, the letter has been ignored.

We need a new paradigm where other animals and the eggs, milk, skin and fur that are part of them, are no longer viewed as food, or of any use to us. Every one of us is responsible for creating this paradigm. There can be no justice without veganism.

Dear Friend of Eden,

Several weeks ago I circulated as many Irish 'poultry' farmers as I could find addresses for with the following Open Letter to Irish Farmers, asking them to spare the life of even one bird. So far not a single life has been spared. Apart from one nasty phone call from someone attempting to defend exploitation for profit, the letter has been ignored. Attempts to get it published in a National Newspaper, where it would be seen by Irish farmers and backyard 'poultry' keepers were also ignored, although there is no shortage of conversation about 'turkey' in the media..

It may be too late to rescue those who were bred for Christmas; most birds are already dead. I have seen their dead bodies in the freezer sections of supermarkets, wrapped in plastic with no evidence of the individual, who was different to every other turkey in the world, and who was aware of his or her life and the suffering he or she experienced at death. These bodies are not just lifeless because they have been killed; the evidence that just a short while ago they were living, sentient beings is obliterated, fostering a disconnect that is little short of terrifying. Tonight RTE television will broadcast Ella McSweeney as she kills a magnificent, sentient turkey 'with her bare hands' (Irish Times, (14/12/2013) on Ear to the Ground.

We need a new paradigm where other animals and the eggs, milk, skin and fur that are part of them, are no longer viewed as food, or of any use to us. Every one of us is responsible for creating this paradigm. There can be no justice without veganism.

Turkeys are not only bred for the Christmas market. They are bred at hatcheries and sold all year round, just like all the other animals we torture for our food. We have place at Eden for turkeys and geese. If you know someone who is making a living from their deaths please show them this letter and at least remind them that the lives they 'harvest' are valuable to the individuals who live them.

If we can save one life we can make a difference. Anyone who knew Maeve, Morgana and Marian, and who watched their work as ambassadors for their species in the film You Haven't Lived Until You've Hugged a Turkey, will know how important the individual lives are.

Please remember that while a sanctuary can do a lot to help individuals, your vegan lifestyle can save more individuals in a single year than Eden can manage to care for. If you are not vegan please consider going vegan and ask us for help if you need it.

letter Irish farmers sentience
Lives worth living...

Dear Sir/Madam,

The vast majority of us do not wish to harm non-human animals. We understand that like us they feel pain, and like us they want to live. For that reason, very few of us would kill the family dog or cat for food. Unfortunately, animals who are used for food cannot be bred and killed without suffering. I am writing to appeal to you to spare someone that suffering.

I run a sanctuary for farmed animals. Over the last few years one of the things that has brought me the most joy is getting to know birds such as turkeys, geese and chickens. Their natural affection towards humans has been both a surprise and a delight to me. I have read the scientific literature on their capacity for feeling and awareness, and learned that like us, they remember the past, anticipate the future, and are highly conscious and aware of their environments. They are aware of the feel of grass beneath their feet, a breath of fresh air, and the warmth of the sun on their backs. They have an enormous capacity for pleasure and enjoyment in life. I have witnessed the very deep bond of friendship they form with each other, and with humans. Like every one of us they want to avoid pain and they do not want to die. In all the ways that matter, they feel just as we do.

I appeal to you this year to spare the life of a turkey in your care.

The difference that life on a sanctuary can make to the life of an individual bird is almost beyond measure. At our sanctuary the turkeys, who would be dead but for the change of heart of some farmers, have had years of freedom and fun. I was not aware that they love dust baths, that they can swim, or that in their natural state they can run at 25 miles per hour, and fly short distances at 55 miles per hour. They have over 30 different vocalisations and intelligent capacities similar to primates. Given the chance they forage over hundreds of acres and roost in trees at night.

Each bird in your care is an individual with a life worth living. If you can find it in your heart to spare his or her life we promise them a good life, the chance to live outdoors, to communicate and form friendships with other turkeys, a safe, clean house to roost in at night, veterinary care if they become ill. I assure you that we do not profit in any way from our work, unless you count the joy and deeply meaningful work of taking them into our lives. We do this because we know that they have a right to this life. We do this because they matter. We ask you to give them this chance that will cost you so little and mean so much to them.

Please contact us at 0872325832 or by email at edenanimalsanctuary@yahoo.ie.

Yours sincerely,
Sandra Higgins
Eden Farm Animal Sanctuary 


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