An Act of Piracy
Egg Production Articles from All-Creatures.org

FROM Edgar’s Mission
Facebook posting, March 2022
March 2022

Whilst piracy still occurs on the high seas, it too occurs much closer to home and beyond that of copyright infringement. For it is played out in the lives of hapless farmed animals. Animals whose form and lives, through human genetic manipulation and cleverly crafted legislation, are no longer their own.

Happy Hen

Piracy is described as an act of robbery on the high seas, or an act resembling such a robbery. In a nutshell, piracy is the illegal taking of something, often with violence or the threat of same, that one has no right to.

Piracy, too, is something that is known, in the thoughtful recesses of one’s heart and mind, to be wrong, yet is carried out regardless – the conscience of the wrongdoer appeased by a cursory justification tossed its way.

Whilst piracy still occurs on the high seas, it too occurs much closer to home and beyond that of copyright infringement. For it is played out in the lives of hapless farmed animals. Animals whose form and lives, through human genetic manipulation and cleverly crafted legislation, are no longer their own.

None the least we see this in selectively bred chickens like the sweet one-legged Pirate.

Pirate is an ISA Brown hen. A hybrid bird “developed” by a French company from which the name comes – Institut Sélection Animale. These little brown feathered wonders are “programmed” to pump out over 300 eggs in their first year of laying. Beyond this, production and egg quality are seen to wane whilst significant and often fatal health issues arise.

happy Hens
Pirate's friends who dropped anchor with her at Edgar's Mission are the handsome roosters, Cluck Norris, and Van Dyke, along with hens, Scally Wag, Blimey, Chanty, Bounty, Treasure, Little Mermaid, and dear Bolinda (des).

The health issues are as insidious and cruel as they are heart-breaking to those who attempt to provide the birds with some semblance of a quality of life. Reproductive issues, respiratory problems, weakened and brittle bones, liver and kidney complications, along with cancer, are some of the challenges that will, and often greatly so, shorten the lives of these ill-fated animals.
Further confirming the hijacking of Pirate and her friend’s lives, ISA Brown is not even an actual breed but a brand whose exact make-up comes from a range of breeds. Those breeds are a tightly guarded industry secret.

Even though we humans may have been able to take the chicken from the jungle – where their ancestor, the Red Jungle fowl, still crows – to do this, we have not been able to take the jungle out of the chicken. Spend any length of time with rescued ISA Browns and you shall manifestly see this. Scratching about in the soil whilst spying for interlopers as if looking for buried treasure, finding any suitable object that will double as a perch (and what a joy it is when this is your leg!), fastidiously making a nest even in the most obscure and private of places, canvassing for allies and jostling for social positions in a manner so deft that it would leave many a politician envious, and exploring the world and your trouser leg, although not always in that order, in the most minute of detail is their unbridled wont.

egg-sitting Hen

Despite Pirate having now found sanctuary, it was not an easy passage for her to navigate, having lost much along the way, including one of her legs. Dumped as she was along with 7 other hens and two roosters on a lonely country road, kindness almost came too late for them. Alas, it did for one poor hen who had sadly passed away some time prior to our rescue team’s arrival at the scene.

Emaciated and legs burdened by scaly mite, our aim now is to give back good health to these birds. Granted, we can never give back what our kind has pillaged from them up until now; indeed, it is high time our acts of piracy towards the animal kingdom came to an end. Finding redemption – theirs, and ours – comes when we throw the greatest of lifelines to those lost in a sea of human indifference.

And that lifeline? Our kindness.

 

"If we could live happy and healthy lives without harming others, why wouldn't we?" 


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