May is International Respect for Chickens Month. More chickens are killed for food in the United States than any other “farm” animal. As long as non-human animals are raised for food, we must support any improvements in their conditions, not make a mockery out of their demise or fool ourselves that they are perfectly happy, as the chicken industry would like us to believe. Chickens represent the most abused land animals on the planet both in terms of sheer numbers and magnitude of suffering. We must change that. The Animal Welfare Act does not cover animals in meat factories, which is where 99% of animals are raised for food. What this means is that no concern whatsoever is given to the suffering that food animals endure in the process of becoming packages of meat.
Every aspect of their lives is manipulated; they can do almost nothing that is natural to them, and fortunately their lives are short because they are miserable. Across the board, animals called “food” are stripped to the bone of comfort and joy despite the fact they are remarkably similar to human beings in their ability to feel anxious, bored, sad, lonely or deliriously happy. I believe that every animal has a right to a life of their own that is of importance to them apart from their usefulness to us. If you can do only one thing, give up eating chicken for the month of May to protest the bleakness of their lives.