When Doves (Don’t) Cry
I was on the phone with a friend this morning when I heard a very loud thud and surmised that something had hit my kitchen window.
Sadly, when I checked, I realized that the dove sitting stunned on my patio had hit the window, hard.
I watched her as her lovely head slowly fell to the side and her body then followed, also slowly falling to the side until she was partially on her back and breathing heavily.
My heart broke for her, as I knew she was dying and there was nothing I could do.
Her labored breathing and her feeble attempt to right herself by kicking her feet was painful to watch and I went to get a box with a soft towel to make her more comfortable and perhaps take her inside where she wouldn’t be mauled by predators, but by the time I returned, she was gone, her beautiful body still, her dark eyes closed.
I gently stroked her body and remembered with a little comfort that God is aware of every one of his creatures and knows when they fall, and I wished her a speedy journey to be with Him.
Then I thought of the billions of chickens who meet even more difficult deaths at the hands of man in slaughterhouses, many being literally boiled alive in scalding defeathering tanks, and most living in appalling conditions before they are mercilessly killed.
There is a photo I will never erase from my mind that shows a chicken foot left in a cage outside a killing plant, because the chicken had been yanked so hard out of the cage on the truck that her foot was literally ripped off.
You can read more of the treatment of chickens here, but this is an excerpt:
Every year, tens of millions suffer broken wings and legs from the rough handling, and some hemorrhage to death. The journey to the slaughterhouse may be hundreds of miles long, but chickens are given no food or water and are shipped through all weather conditions.
After this nightmarish journey, the bewildered chickens are dumped out of the crates, and workers violently grab them and force their legs into shackles so that they are hanging upside-down, breaking many birds’ legs in the process.
The terrified animals struggle to escape, often defecating and vomiting on the workers. An undercover investigator at a Perdue slaughterhouse reported that “the screaming of the birds and the frenzied flapping of their wings was so loud that you had to yell to the worker next to you.”
I wonder over and over how we can allow these things and support this brutality with our money.
Because I know that no one I know would feel anything but sorrow and horror at the thought of it, and these same good people would feel pain watching the lovely dove die slowly.
The dove’s death was purely an accident, but the mass killing of chickens is done on purpose.
This is why I write this blog, to remind people of what they support when they buy animal products and, though the dying dove let out no cry, I cry for her and all animals who suffer, particularly when it is intentional and unnecessary.
Perhaps if the death of the dove draws awareness to the suffering of chickens, her dying wasn’t totally in vain.
If you buy animal products, isn’t it the least you can do to educate yourself on how they arrived on your plate?
When you learn of the cruelty, I believe you will not hesitate to refuse to support it.