Alice: Her Life and Death at Eden
Animal Stories from All-Creatures.org

FROM

Eden Farm Animal Sanctuary
August 2015

We didnít choose Alice as an ĎAmbassadorí for egg laying hens. She chose that role all by herself. Every time a visitor arrived at Eden for a sanctuary tour, Alice proved herself to be a much better educator than me, quickly able to challenge anyone who doubted her personhood.

We are not only grief stricken; we are outraged that someone who loved to fly was one time so confined. Yet, it was not the imprisonment of a cage that killed her. It was the imprisonment of her own body; a body that was manipulated and ravaged by the human demand for her eggs. Sanctuaries are not the answer for hens like Alice; veganism is their only hope.

Alice hen

The EU banned the use of barren battery cages in the egg industry and replaced them with equally atrocious Ďenrichedí battery cages on 1st January 2012. Some Irish farmers did not comply with the regulations and were directed by the Department of Agriculture to kill more than 80,000 hens still confined in battery cages.

A few were rescued and some came to Eden. Alice was one of them.

We quickly observed Aliceís individuality and personality emerge, facilitated by her sanctuary home. She was a good friend to other chickens and equally sociable with humans, forming emotional attachments with many of Eden's interns and volunters.

We didnít choose Alice as an ĎAmbassadorí for egg laying hens. She chose that role all by herself. Every time a visitor arrived at Eden for a sanctuary tour, Alice proved herself to be a much better educator than me, quickly able to challenge anyone who doubted her personhood.

Alice brought so much happiness to our human lives; yet human life and our demand for animal foods brought so much misery to her. Last week this demand on her body took its toll and she lost her life.

The fact that those of us who knew and loved her feel sick with grief at her loss is testament to how special she was.

We are not only grief stricken; we are outraged that someone who loved to fly was one time so confined. Yet, it was not the imprisonment of a cage that killed her. It was the imprisonment of her own body; a body that was manipulated and ravaged by the human demand for her eggs. Sanctuaries are not the answer for hens like Alice; veganism is their only hope. It is the only hope for life.

There are currently over a million caged hens in Ireland. In total, in Ireland, more than two million hens are used for their eggs and slaughtered at 18 months. More than 70 million are used for their flesh; most are slaughtered at six weeks, still peeping like the babies they are.

Every one of them is one too many.

Every one of them is an Alice.


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