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May is International Respect for Chickens Month, and this show is dedicated to the chickens. 💗🐔💗
To start the show, we acknowledge how wonderful chickens are! Alison shares some stories of growing up as a child with a companion animal chicken named Willie, which was her first introduction to animals.
Heather Bolint on Rescuing Eddie the Rooster on the Appalachian Trail
For our first interview, we have Seattle-based animal advocate Heather Bolint on the show.
Last month, Heather was featured on the social media website The Dodo, after experiencing the most unusual and heart warming encounter with a lost rooster who she found while hiking the Appalachian trail in the Eastern United States. She named this beautiful rooster Eddie, hiked through three states and over 67 kilometres with him, and in this interview, she is here to share her story of rescuing a beautiful rooster who now goes by the name Mason and lives happily at Poplar Spring Sanctuary in Maryland.
A further lesson that can be drawn from this story is the message of taking initiative to help animals in need.
The spot on the Appalachian trail was in the middle of nowhere, only passed by other hikers on the trail. Some of these other hikers said that they had seen Eddie there, by himself, up to a week before that she found him. Because she was the only one who decided to take action, in an area full of predators, she ended up saving a life.
What can we learn from this example when we see an animal who needs help, and we might assume that there is something else who can do it? Heather speaks to us about taking on the moral responsibility of being a steward of this Earth to help others.
To see the original video story on The Dodo, take a look here – and enjoy!
Karen Davis, PhD, founder of United Poultry Concerns, on the Ethics of Keeping Backyard Chickens for Eggs
For our feature interview, we have Karen Davis on the show. Karen is the founder and President of United Poultry Concerns, which is the world’s foremost non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the respectful treatment of domestic fowl, and she has lived among chickens for over 30 years.
UPC runs a haven for chickens in Virginia, and also teaches people about the egg and chicken meat industries, the natural lives of free chickens, pleasures and benefits of human-chicken companionship, and alternatives to chicken farming and the use of chickens in education and scientific experimentation.
The issue of “backyard hens” when it comes to animal welfare can be a tricky one. Some people may think that it can be a benign and natural way to consume eggs by not participating in the factory farming industry by simply keeping some chickens in your backyard, taking care of them, and eating the eggs that they lay.
But in this interview, Karen explains to us why this process is not so benign and harmless as it may seem. She speaks about the cruelties of the hatchery industry that most chickens come from, plus the toll that producing so many eggs a year (as they have been bred to do) takes on a chicken’s body. She encourages our listeners to not keep chickens if your sole intention for them is to eat their eggs. There is a lot more info here to listen to, including Karen’s message for people who call themselves “veggans” – that is, they eat all vegan except for eggs.
Happy International Respect for Chickens Month, and may we respect and care for chickens for the beings who they are. They want to live happy lives, just like we do.