International Respect for Chickens Day!
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Liberation BC commemorated International Respect for Chickens Day on May 4th with a special vigil at the Hallmark Poultry Processors slaughterhouse. Sunday’s event complemented our weekly chicken vigils, which Liberation BC holds every Friday morning in time for hundreds of commuters to see our signs that tell the story about what happens behind the big grey wall. The Sunday vigil included a visit to Church’s Chicken and a stop at Grandview Park on Commercial Drive to hand out informational leaflets about the chicken industry, including how chickens are bred, housed, debeaked, transported, and slaughtered.
International Respect for Chickens Day is a day dedicated to respect and compassion for a frequently maligned animal. However, chickens are much more than mere ‘bird brains.’ According to the Scientific American, scientists have learned through recent studies that chickens “possesses communication skills on par with those of some primates and that it uses sophisticated signals to convey its intentions.” Chickens are able to use prior experience and knowledge to support decision-making and are capable of solving complex problems. Chickens, when left to their own resources, have family ties and develop social hierarchies. Empathy, once thought to be a uniquely human trait, is also part of the makeup of chickens. A Bristol University study showed that they are able to empathize with others, and that female chickens showed clear signs of anxiety when their offspring were in distress. Factory farms have prevented us from observing much of the natural behaviour of chickens’, whose personalities are altered by the stress of inhumane, overcrowded environments.
The volunteers sure got a lot of attention at Sunday’s chicken vigil.
“We got honks galore from the drivers passing by!” says Liberation BC board member and Weekly Chicken Slaughterhouse Vigils organizer Mary-Chris Staples.
Liberation BC would like to thank the volunteers, who included Brigette, Demelza, Samantha, Cynthia, Mavaddat, Alissa, Sigrid, Sophia, Mark, Samareh, Dareios, Paula, Bailey, Meghan, Jane and Denice.
We encourage you to join us during our Weekly Chicken Slaughterhouse Vigils. The greater our numbers, the easier it is to get the word out on what happens behind the walls of the Hallmark Poultry Processing slaughterhouse! We have signs, so all you need to do is show up between 7 am and 9 am on Friday mornings. If you have to leave earlier than 9 am for or need to arrive a little later that 7 am to accommodate your work schedule, you will still be a great help!