I am busy caring for three ("teenaged") ducklings. Julian and I were on the way to the supermarket, and we noticed a crowd of Chassidim in the middle of the street. As we got closer, I could see that there were birds on the ground, and that the kids were taunting them, while the adults just watched. Furious, I ran out of the car and asked them what they were doing. They proceeded to mock me, as I picked up the ducks and put them into my car. I yelled at the kids and told them the Torah tells you to be kind to animals. Then I yelled at the adults for standing there and allowing them to taunt the birds. One teenage boy said that I was absolutely right, and one adult thanked me for taking them.
The ducks must have fallen off a live poultry market truck. It was raining and the ducks were wet and hungry. Fortunately, I had some cat food in the car, which they ate like there was no tomorrow! One of the ducks has a little cloudiness in his eyes, and some of their feathers have been rubbed away (probably from being on top of each other in the crates), but otherwise they appear to be in good health.
I spoke with Sean Casey who said he'd help me find a sanctuary for them. Then I called David Benzaquen from Farm Sanctuary, who, not only got approval to accept them at the farm, but will send a person to my home to pick them up as soon as possible!
I wish each and every one of my contacts who still eats meat could meet these ducks. It would be an up close and personal "Meet Your Meat" moment. No birds should live in cages so tiny that their feathers rub off and produce sores on the skin. No birds should have to watch and smell the blood and the fear, as each is brutally killed, knowing that they will be next. Sadly, that is what happens in factory "farms," as well as at "mom and pop" slaughterhouses all over the country. There is no such thing as humane killing. Moreover, until the time they are killed, they lead miserable, tortured lives. Aside from all of this, their flesh is unhealthy for human consumption. Seventy percent of the antibiotics produced in this country go into the livestock industry. In addition, animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than all the cars, trucks, planes, buses, and all forms of transportation COMBINED.
I implore you to think about this the next time you think about eating meat. People say to me "they have already been killed for us." The fact is, if the demand goes down, so will the production. Meat, dairy, and eggs are products of animal suffering, whether people want to admit it or not. People can choose to either live a kind, compassionate life or remain blissfully ignorant. More and more people are starting to make kind choices.
Please, go veg ... for your health, for the planet, and (obviously) for the animals!
Rina Deych, RN
PS: Greg Straightedge, from Farm Sanctuary, just picked up the birds and they are on their way to their new home! I took a few short video clips and will post them on my YouTube page as soon as I get a chance:
A great big THANK YOU to David and Greg and to Farm Sanctuary for their limitless compassion!
And thank you to Sean Casey for trying to help me find a sanctuary, even though he is inundated.
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