To the Editor:
Re “They’re Going to Wish They All Could Be California Hens” (front page, March 4):
While the conditions in California’s colony cages are certainly better than those of the barren battery cages used for 90 percent of egg-laying hens in this country, they still involve cramming 60 animals into a wire cage, each bird with just 116 square inches in which to live her entire life
At Farm Sanctuary, we spend our lives with hens, and we can attest that chickens are individuals with needs and personalities, just like the dogs and cats most readers will know a bit better. It is no more acceptable to confine 60 hens for their entire lives in a cage that you report is “about the size of a Ford F-150 pickup truck’s flatbed” than it would be to treat 60 cats similarly.
Compassionate consumers can take a stand against this cruelty by choosing vegan options.
Senior Policy Director
Washington, March 4, 2014
To the Editor:
The humane laws for hens in California that provide them more space in which to live should be countrywide. Chickens deserve to live humanely. That’s the least farmers can do.
People seem to lose sight of the fact that these are sentient animals, not food machines! The same goes for pigs and cattle that are exploited and forced to live in substandard conditions.
Congratulations to California for being so compassionate and leading the way.
New York, March 4, 2014
01 March 2014
01 February 2014
16 January 2014
In this New York Times op-ed column, Frank Bruni predicts that our understanding of and concern for animals is only going to grow as scientific advances help us to understand the rich psychological and emotional lives of animals. Tom Regan was right: Many of the animals we routinely exploit are experiencing subjects of a life just like us.
Posted by Mylan Engel Jr. at 7:24 PM
01 January 2014
11 December 2013
How, then, shall we sum up in a sentence the principle of our duties to the lower animals? I do not know that it can be better done than in the words of George Nicholson, one of those early pioneers to the influence of whose writings, though now almost forgotten, the cause of humaneness owes so much. "In our conduct to animals," he wrote, "one plain rule may determine what form it ought to take, and prove an effectual guard against an improper treatment of them—a rule universally admitted as a foundation of moral rectitude: Treat the animal in such a manner as you would willingly be treated, were you such an animal." In our dealings with the non-human as with the human race, it is not "charity," or "self-sacrifice," or "mercy" that is required, but simple justice—an insistence on our own duties as on those of our neighbors, a recognition of our neighbors' rights as of our own.
(Henry S. Salt, "The Rights of Animals," International Journal of Ethics 10 [January 1900]: 206-22, at 222 [italics in original; footnote omitted])
Posted by Keith Burgess-Jackson at 6:02 PM