‘It’s God’s plan’: the man who dreams of bringing intensive chicken farming to Africa

A US mega-farm, a Christian backer and Africa’s oldest industrial chicken producer are bringing the world’s super birds to reform central Africa’s food market and feed the poor

by 

On the evening of 7 August 2018, a KLM charter flight left Amsterdam, landing 11 hours later at Kilimanjaro airport in northern Tanzania. Its young occupants were nodded through immigration and driven 50 miles to their new home, close to some of Africa’s most famous game parks.

These were no tourists hoping to see lions in the nearby Serengeti. The 2,320 little cockerels and 17,208 hens on the plane were a flock of European-bred pedigree Cobb 500 chickens, the world’s most popular breed. Their destination: a remote 200-hectare mega-farm under construction in the windy foothills of snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro.

Here, where wildlife and nomadic tribes have always roamed, Tyson, the world’s second-largest food company, has set up with Irvine’s, Africa’s oldest industrial chicken producer. With the backing of a devout Christian businessman, Donnie Smith, the three partners aim to revolutionise food production in central Africaand “save” people from hunger by growing chickens on an American scale. The little chicks and hens are the expeditionary force of an army of Cobb 500s to follow.

Irvine’s $20m (£15m) parent stock laying eggs on the high plains below Mount Kilimanjaro is just the start. In a year’s time they expect to be sending 500,000 fertilised eggs a week to a sister hatchery on the Tanzanian coast, where millions of one-day-old chicks will be sold to local farmers. In a few years they could be rearing and exporting 40m or even 50m broilers a year to neighbouring Kenya, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other African countries.

No one knows if they will flood the market and undermine local producers, or if they will improve food security in countries where millions of people regularly go hungry.

But they should make money. There is an insatiable appetite for chicken meat in African cities, and only a handful of industrial farms across the continent competing with imports from the US, Europe or Brazil.

Tyson sees central Africa as a promising new market. The corporate behemoth, which turns over $38bn (£30bn) a year, says it is “faith-friendly” and rooted in Christian values. It processes and sells about 11bn chickens a year worldwide, according to Bloomberg.

And for Donnie Smith (below left), the genial former chief executive of Tyson, from Tennessee, the Kilimanjaro plant is “God’s plan”.

Donnie Smith, former CEO of Tyson

Smith, who spent 35 years with Tyson, says he feels impelled by his faith to feed the world’s poor. He has already set up a small chicken charity in Rwanda that offers loans to small farmers to buy a few hundred birds. His mission now is to bring chickens to Africa on a grand scale.

“I am a Christian. I feel a call to use my poultry background and put that to work. Poultry is the most efficient converter of feed to meat; no religions are against eating poultry. If you want an impact on the poor, providing them with high-quality, affordable protein from chicken is the best way.

“Why Africa? The need is tremendous. I have travelled in sub-Saharan Africa and in the largest population centres you see fairly rapid progress, but [not] in rural areas. All my experience tells me that God wants me to work in Africa,” he says.

Nature’s Arnie Schwarzeneggers

The farm looks like aliens have landed. Planet Cobb sees giraffes on their way between national parks pass many low, 120 metre-long, 12 metre-wide, shiny white structures; Maasai pastoralists in woven red shuka blankets drive their cattle over land dotted with steel masts, tanks and towers. The snows of Kilimanjaro glisten above the clouds.

As happens all over Africa, many households in the few nearby villages keep chickens for eggs or to eat on occasional celebrations. But unlike the bright white Cobb 500s in their sealed sheds, these birds are scrawny, gaudy and all shapes and sizes. They look spectacular and taste strong.

In contrast, the Cobbs are nature’s Arnie Schwarzeneggers – all jutting chests, rippling thighs, big feet and bland flesh. These meat machines have been highly bred for 100 years to grow fast, bulk up their breasts and to eat only small quantities of cheap soya and maize.

Irvine’s new farm and hatchery in Dar es Salaam
Irvine’s farm
  • Irvine’s $20m farm and hatchery in Dar es Salaam

Today, the Cobb 500 is an industrial marvel. A parent hen will lay on average 192 eggs in its short 15-month life, more than twice as many as any backyard bird; and a young Cobb 500 broiler can grow from a day-old chick to a 2kg bird ready for the pot in just 33 days.

The Cobb is now the chicken that ate the world, identically bred in 120 countries and the first choice of most of the world’s big poultry farmers and fast-food chains from McDonald’s to Wendy’s, KFC and Zaxby’s.

No one has counted, but there are probably far more Cobb 500s alive than there are humans. The UN’s Food and Agriculture organisation (FAO) estimated in 2011 that there were 19bn chickens across the globe. Of those bred for their meat, nearly half are thought to be Cobbs. In the next few years chicken is expected to overtake pork and beef to become the world’s most popular meat. Cobb flesh by then could be in the diet of billions of people.

The multinational company Cobb-Vantress, which has developed the bird and is owned by Tyson, declined to speak to the Guardian. But, says Hal Herzog, a US author and anthro-zoologist: “Once its feathers are plucked, its feet and head chopped off, its gut scraped out and its blood drained, 73% of a Cobb 500’s carcass will be eviscerated yield.

“A broiler chicken’s bones cannot keep up with the explosive growth of its body.” He says that unnaturally large breasts may torque a chicken’s legs, causing lameness, ruptured tendons and twisted legs.

But the Cobb 500 is the likely future of food. With scientists urging people to eat less meat to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Cobb broilers are proving to have the best carbon footprint of all land-based animals. According to one calculation, kilo for kilo, a broiler emits five times less CO2 equivalent than lamb, and is environmentally better than cheese.

‘These birds live like kings and queens’

Adult breeding Cobb 500 chickens in a room containing 9,000 birds at Irvine’s farm in Kilimanjiro

To get the best, soft white meat from a Cobb 500 you need more than genetics, says Enzo Faglioni, the young Brazilian vet who is Irvine’s breeder operation manager at the farm. “You must minutely control the birds’ environment. They must be as comfortable as possible at all times, and be treated like babies,” he says. “These birds live like kings and queens.”

He accepts that commercial poultry farms have made welfare mistakes in the past, but says the lessons have been learned. No antibiotics are used unless there is an outbreak of illness, and no hormones are pumped into their feed.

To go inside the sealed, dark, windowless Kilimanjaro chicken sheds you must shower twice, brush your teeth, wash your hair and wear special clothes. When the doors are opened, there are identical white chickens as far as the eye can see.

Young Cobb 500 chicks drink from a mechanical water dispenser and are ready to be sold to local chicken farms
Each room contains around 9,000 birds and is strictly light and temperature controlled
Tumaini Kisirieli Kinyaha herds chicks to keep them active and prevent them from crowding in groups.
Stephano Erinest Mushi repairs the mechanical chicken feeder at Irvine’s farm
  • From top left: young Cobb chicks drink from a mechanical water dispenser; each room contains about 9,000 birds; herding chicks to keep them from crowding in groups; repairing the mechanical chicken feeder

There is a deep rumble of tens of thousands of clucks, interspersed with the crowing of many hundreds of cocks, and a whiff of ammonia. But random checks show no lameness, blisters or sores. The birds are not aggressive and look content. The mortality rate over their 15-month lifetime is said to be about 5%, far less than in the average European or American broiler house.

It is only when you get down on floor level that the large Cobb cocks attack. Feet out, wings flapping and beaks thrusting, they come at you hard. It hurts and all you can do is yell and run.

‘The need is great’

“This is how Africa can feed itself,” says Smith. The continent’s population is going to double to 2 billion people in the next 30 years and chicken is needed to provide the protein to avoid malnourishment and stunting, he says. “Chickens are good for the environment, too, because they need less land, less food and less water [than cattle and pigs] to produce the same amount of meat.

Villager Rahema Rashid feeds her free-range poultry

“We’re not there yet but we are making chicken more affordable. I don’t think that we will undermine other producers or traditional breeds. You will see two food systems running side by side.

“I believe that chicken will become the most affordable, complex protein on the African continent. We know what the future is going to look like and this is it. We want to access the future in Africa because the need is so great.”

Food security will be strengthened by improving the availability of broiler chicken products, confirms Anne Mottet, a livestock development officer for the FAO. But she emphasises the importance of small-scale operations. “Overall you want diversity of production sources. It’s more resilient than putting all your eggs in one basket. The more small-scale producers you have, the more resilient you are.”

Is sub-Saharan Africa ready for unchecked corporate concentration and the pollution and potential animal welfare problems that have plagued broiler-chicken production in Europe and the US?

Yes, says the Tanzanian government, which struggles to feed its fast-urbanising population and is a target for chicken imports from Europe and Brazil. Nearly a million people needed food aid in the country last year and Tanzania adds 1.6 million people a year. By 2035 its population will have grown by another 32 million.

Rose Sweya, owner of Kingchick chicken farm in Kigamboni district, Dar es Salaam

“Definitely we are ready,” says Rose Sweya (left), a young Dar es Salaam chicken farmer who is eager to buy thousands of Donnie’s day-old Cobbs to fatten up. She says she welcomes competition and that the demand for chicken is insatiable.

“People desperately need protein and chicken is the best way to get it. The population is growing fast so the demand is rocketing. Eating chicken was rare when I grew up. It was seen as the food of high-class people. We had it for celebrations, and on special occasions like Christmas. For most people it is still quite rare,” she says.

With British aid, her company, Kingchick, is investing heavily in four poultry farms and a processing plant. She expects to employ another 20 or more women and could be selling 2,000 Cobbs a week within a year.

“There was always this mentality that frozen supermarket chicken was not good and that village chicken was best. But this is changing. ”

Locally grown chickens in a market in Arusha, Tanzania
  • Locally grown chickens in a market in Arusha, Tanzania

Yet the arrival of the Cobbs is a mixed blessing for the villagers near the farm. It has provided well-paid work for some, but Maasai herders have complained that the farm’s high fences restrict their access to traditional pasture land. This, says Faglioni, has been resolved.

“Industrial-scale farming goes hand in hand with development,” he says. “We are changing the way that people eat and how they see the world. People here are proud that they are producing safe food for the country. They have money and can buy better food. We are offering a better way of life for both chickens and people.”

‘Planet of the chickens’: How the bird took over the world

  • 12 December 2018
HenImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

A study of chicken bones dug up at London archaeological sites shows how the bird we know today has altered beyond recognition from its ancestors.

With around 23 billion chickens on the planet at any one time, the bird is a symbol of the way we are shaping the environment, say scientists.

Evolution usually takes place over a timescale of millions of years, but the chicken has changed much more rapidly.

The rise of the supermarket chicken mirrors the decline in wild birds.

“The sheer number of chickens is an order of magnitude higher than any other bird species that’s alive today,” said Dr Carys Bennett, a geologist at the University of Leicester, who led the study.

“You could say we are living in the planet of the chickens.”

Fried chickenImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionChicken meat is consumed across the world

Chickens in numbers

  • 65.8 billion – the number slaughtered in 2014, compared to 1.5 billion pigs and 0.3 billion cattle
  • 25,500 – the number of stores in the world selling a popular brand of fried chicken
  • 70% – the number of broiler chickens that are intensively reared (figures from 2006)
  • Five to seven weeks – the lifespan of a broiler chicken
  • 3- 5bn – the population of the passenger pigeon in the 1800s, now extinct, which is thought to be the most common wild bird in human history.
Chickens bred for meatImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionChickens bred for meat

The researchers used the archaeological record to look at how chickens have changed over the years – and say they are a symbol of this geological era.

We are entering the Anthropocene, the period during which human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment.

“Human activities have altered the Earth’s landscapes, the oceans, atmosphere and land surface,” said Dr Bennett.

“As the most numerous terrestrial vertebrate species on the planet, with a biology shaped by humans, modern chickens are a symbol of our changed biosphere.”

She said when future generations examine rocks from our time, they will probably see “tin cans, glass bottles, and bits of material that were once plastic, and amongst that will be bones of chickens”.

Domesticated animals now make up the majority of animal species on land, shaping the natural world.

Stories you might also like to read:

Rats and pigeons ‘replace iconic species’

The vast scale of life beneath our feet

Hidden fossils enter ‘digital museum’

The domestic chicken is descended from the red jungle fowl, which is native to tropical South East Asia. The bird was first domesticated around 8,000 years ago, and rapidly spread around the world, to be used for meat and eggs.

In the 1950s the “chicken-of-tomorrow programme” was launched to produce bigger birds. Since then, the bird has undergone extraordinary changes.

It has been selectively bred to put on weight fast, which is evident from its body and the chemistry and genetics of its bones.

Meanwhile, roast chicken has gone from being an occasional treat to a global food enterprise.

The research is reported in the journal Royal Society Open Science.

Video Exposes Multiple Health Code Violations During Illegal Mass Animal Sacrifice in Brooklyn NOVEMBER 26, 2018 BY

NOVEMBER 26, 2018

 

https://theirturn.net/2018/11/20/NYC-health-code-violations-Bill-de-Blasio-Kaporos/

Every year during the week leading up to Yom Kippur, several sects of ultra-Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn sacrifice an estimated 60,000 chickens in makeshift slaughterhouses that are erected without permits on public streets.  The practitioners of the ritual slaughter, called Kaporos, violate multiple city health codes:

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Ftheirturn%2Fvideos%2F296108624577904%2F&show_text=0&width=560

The NYC Department of Health defends the illegal sacrifice, arguing that the city has not observed any “disease signals” associated with the practice. The NYPD, which is charged with enforcing the laws, instead aids and abets in the crimes.

A toxicology report confirmed that Kaporos poses a “significant public health hazard.”

“The Chief of Police and Health Commissioner are political appointees, and their boss, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, has clearly instructed them to assist in the illegal Kaporos massacre because the practitioners represent a powerful voting bloc,” said Donny Moss, an organizer in the effort to compel the city to enforce the laws. “Not only does the City provides police barricades, floodlights and an army of police officers and sanitation workers, but it also provides the traffic cones where tens of thousands of chickens are bled out into public streets.”

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio instructs the NYPD to aid and abet in the illegal slaughter of an estimated 60,000 animals on the streets of NYC (Unparalleled Suffering Photography)

On October 17th, during oral arguments about Kaporos in the the New York State Court of Appeals, a city attorney confirmed that laws are broken but argued that the city has discretion over which laws to enforce.

City health codes that are violated during Kaporos

During Kaporos, an estimated 60,000 six-week old chickens are intensively confined in crates without food or water for up to several days before being slaughtered and discarded. Many die of starvation, thirst and exposure before the ritual takes place. A toxicology reported commissioned by residents in the neighborhoods that are contaminated with the blood, feces and body parts of chickens states that the ritual a “significant public health hazard.”

Chickens: Their Life and Death in Farming Operations

*By Karen Davis | October 1, 2018 | Comments Welcomed*

The Encyclopaedia Britannica’s Advocacy For Animals is pleased to publish
this
article by United Poultry Concerns President Karen Davis. Please read it,
share
it and, if you are inclined, add an appreciative comment.

Chickens: Their Life and Death in Farming Operations
<http://advocacy.britannica.com/blog/advocacy/2018/10/chickens-their-life-and-death-in-farming-operations/>


United Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization that promotes
the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl.
Don’t just switch from beef to chicken. Go Vegan.
http://www.UPC-online.org/ http://www.twitter.com/upcnews
http://www.facebook.com/UnitedPoultryConcerns

View this article online
<http://upc-online.org/industry/181001_chickens-their_life_and_death_in_farming_operations.html>

Thousands of Chickens Perished Instantly: One Poultry Farm’s Fight Against Scorching Heat

(image: Yonhap)

(image: Yonhap)

EUMSEONG, Jul. 19 (Korea Bizwire) — When a heat wave warning was issued for all of North Chungcheong Province on Tuesday afternoon, poultry farm owners in the region were naturally on high alert.

At one poultry farm measuring 800 square meters in size situated in Maengdong-myeon in the province’s Eunseong-gun, over 17,000 chickens were seen suffering as the mercury rose.

Many chickens had collapsed, having succumbed to the heat.

The temperature circa 1:35 p.m. on Tuesday was 31.7 degrees Celsius. Seven gigantic fans were in operation, but were not enough to help cool the chickens down.

By 2 p.m., the thermometer shot up to 35 degrees. Ban, the 43-year-old owner of the poultry farm, said that the summer heat was “just as dangerous as bird flu” for the chickens.

Not paying proper attention to the chickens, even for just a moment, could result in thousands of chickens perishing instantly in the heat, said Ban.

In fact, over 20,000 chickens died on Ban’s very farm in 2016 when temperatures shot up in July.

Following the deaths of the chickens, Ban installed thermal insulation materials in all of the barns, which now helps protect the chickens from the strong summer sun.

But other poultry farms that are not equipped with heat resistant insulation try to keep cool by continuously spraying cold water on rooftops via water hoses.

In addition, farm workers monitor the internal temperature by the hour before checking large ventilation fans installed at the poultry farms to see if they are working properly.

If temperatures within the pens surpass 36 degrees Celsius, moisture mist sprays must be turned on to ensure that the chickens do not dehydrate.

Ban’s farm consumes around 40,700 liters of water every day in the summer months.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, 753,191 chickens had perished from the sweltering summer heat as of July 17.

Lina Jang (linajang@koreabizwire.com)

http://koreabizwire.com/thousands-of-chickens-perished-instantly-one-poultry-farms-fight-against-scorching-heat/121641

The Hen is a Symbol of Motherhood for Reasons We May Have Forgotten,  So Let Us Recall


*By Karen Davis, PhD, President of United Poultry Concerns*

*”Her love of her children definitely resembles my love of mine.” *
– Alice Walker

*”The emphasis has been on smaller, more efficient but lighter-weight *
*egg machines.” *
– American Poultry History

In our day, the hen has been degraded to an “egg machine.” In previous
eras, she
embodied the essence of motherhood. In the first century AD, the Roman
historian
Plutarch praised the many ways in which mother hens cherish and protect
their
chicks, “drooping their wings for some to creep under, and receiving with
joyous
and affectionate clucks others that mount upon their backs or run up to them
from every direction; and though they flee from dogs and snakes if they are
frightened only for themselves, if their fright is for their children, they
stand their ground and fight it out beyond their strength.”

The Renaissance writer Ulisse Aldrovandi described how, at the first sign
of a
predator, mother hens will immediately gather their chicks “under the
shadow of
their wings, and with this covering they put up such a very fierce defense –
striking fear into their opponent in the midst of a frightful clamor, using
both
wings and beak – they would rather die for their chicks than seek safety in
flight.” Similarly, in collecting food, the mother hen allows her chicks to
eat
their fill before satisfying her own hunger. Thus, he said, mother hens
present,
in every way, “a noble example of love for their offspring.”

I saw this love in action, when a hen named Eva jumped our sanctuary fence
on a
spring day and disappeared, only to return three weeks later in June with
eight
fluffy chicks. Watching Eva with her tiny brood close behind her was like
watching a family of wild birds whose dark and golden feathers blended
perfectly
with the woods and foliage they melted in and out of during the day.
Periodically, Eva would squat down with her feathers puffed out, and her
peeping
chicks would all run under her wings for comfort and warmth. A few minutes
later
the family was on the move again.

One day, a large dog wandered in front of the magnolia tree where Eva and
her
chicks were foraging. With her wings outspread and curved menacingly toward
the
dog, she rushed at him over and over, cackling loudly, all the while
continuing
to push her chicks behind herself with her wings. The dog stood stock still
before the excited mother hen and soon ambled away, but Eva maintained her
aggressive posture, her sharp, repetitive cackles and attentive lookout for
several minutes after he was gone.

Sitting on her nest, a mother hen carefully turns each of her eggs as often
as
thirty times a day, using her body, her feet, and her beak to move each egg
precisely in order to maintain the proper temperature, moisture,
ventilation,
humidity, and position of the egg during the 3-week incubation period.
Embryonic
chicks respond to soothing sounds from the mother hen and to warning cries
from
the rooster. Two or three days before the chicks are ready to hatch, they
start
peeping to notify their mother and siblings that they are ready to emerge
from
their shells, and to draw her attention to any distress they’re experiencing
such as cold or abnormal positioning.

A communication network is established among the baby birds and between
them and
their mother, who must stay calm while all the peeping, sawing, and
breaking of
eggs goes on underneath her as she meanwhile picks off tiny pieces of shell
that
may be sticking to her chicks and slays any ants that may dart in to
scavenge.
During all this time, as Page Smith and Charles Daniel describe in The
Chicken <http://www.upc-online.org/fall2000/chicken_book_review.html>
Book <http://www.upc-online.org/fall2000/chicken_book_review.html>, “The
chorus of peeps goes on virtually uninterrupted, the unborn chicks
peeping away, the newborn ones singing their less muffled song.”

During the first four to eight weeks or so, the chicks stay close to their
mother, gathering beneath her wings every night at dusk. Eventually, she
flies
up to her perch or a tree branch, indicating her sense that they, and she,
are
ready for independence.

Whenever I tell people stories about chickens enjoying themselves, many
become
very sad. The pictures I’m showing them are so different from the ones
they’re
used to seeing of chickens in a state of absolute misery. *The New York
Times*
restaurant critic William Grimes wrote of a beautiful black hen who entered
his
life unexpectedly one day, an apparent escapee from a poultry market in
Queens.
“I looked at the Chicken endlessly, and I wondered. What lay behind the
veil of
animal secrecy? Did she have a personality, for one thing?” His curiosity is
satisfied by close acquaintance with and observation of the endearing bird.
By
the end of his bittersweet book My Fine Feathered Friend
<http://www.upc-online.org/021009fine_feathered.html>, he and his wife Nancy
“had grown to love the Chicken.”

We have to start looking at chickens differently, so that we may see them as
Alice Walker described her encounter with a hen she watched crossing the
road
one day with three little chicks in Bali. In her essay, “Why Did the
Balinese
Chicken Cross the Road?” in Living By the Word
<http://alicewalkersgarden.com/2010/10/living-by-the-word/>, Walker writes:

It is one of those moments that will be engraved on my brain forever. For
I
really *saw* her. She was small and gray, flecked with black; so were her
chicks. She had a healthy red comb and quick, light-brown eyes. She was
that
proud, chunky chicken shape that makes one feel always that chickens, and
hens
especially, have personality and *will*. Her steps were neat and quick and
authoritative; and though she never touched her chicks, it was obvious
she was
shepherding them along. She clucked impatiently when, our feet falling
ever
nearer, one of them, especially self-absorbed and perhaps hard-headed,
ceased
to respond.

Let us with equal justice perceive chickens with envisioned eyes that
pierce the
veil of these birds’ “mechanization” and apprehend the truth of who they
are. In
*The Chicken Book*, Page Smith and Charles Daniel remind us, most
poignantly: “As
each chick emerges from its shell in the dark cave of feathers underneath
its
mother, it lies for a time like any newborn creature, exhausted, naked, and
extremely vulnerable. And as the mother may be taken as the epitome of
motherhood, so the newborn chick may be taken as an archetypal
representative of
babies of all species, human and animal alike, just brought into the world.”

This is What Wings Are For.

__________________________

KAREN DAVIS, PhD <http://www.upc-online.org/karenbio.htm> is the President
and Founder of United Poultry Concerns, a
nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful
treatment
of domestic fowl including a sanctuary for chickens in Virginia. She is the
author of Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs: An Inside Look at the Modern
Poultry
Industry, More Than a Meal: The Turkey in History, Myth, Ritual, and
Reality,
The Holocaust and the Henmaid’s Tale: A Case for Comparing Atrocities and
other
groundbreaking publications.


United Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization that promotes
the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl.
Don’t just switch from beef to chicken. Go Vegan.
http://www.UPC-online.org/ http://www.twitter.com/upcnews

Prayer Circle for Animals #371: International Respect for Chickens

April 23, 2018

*Please Join Us For Our Daily Noon Prayer*

“COMPASSION ENCIRCLES THE EARTH FOR ALL BEINGS EVERYWHERE”

And Our Prayer for the Week from Judy Carman

*MAY 4 IS INTERNATIONAL RESPECT FOR CHICKENS DAY; ALL OF MAY IS THEIR
SPECIAL*
*MONTH*. Let’s get ready. This event was introduced by United Poultry
Concerns in
2005 “to celebrate chickens throughout the world and protest the bleakness
of
their lives in farming operations.” UPC suggests many possible actions we
can
take, as well as posters and handouts to order, on the website. This Sikh
story
brings home the truth that chickens are precious individuals who love life
just
as we do. “A man was once given a chicken by his guru and told to go and
kill it
[him or her] where nobody could see. The man tried and tried to find a place
where he could kill the chicken without anybody’s seeing and finally gave
up and
went back to the guru. ‘Why couldn’t you find a place where nobody would
see you
kill the chicken?’ asked the guru. ‘Because everywhere I went, the chicken
saw,’
said the man.” (From *How to Think if You Want to Change the World*, p. 138)

*OUR PRAYER THIS WEEK IS FOR ALL CHICKENS TO BE RESPECTED FOR WHO THEY ARE
AND TO*
*BE LIBERATED FROM HUMAN VIOLENCE AND DOMINATION:* We give thanks for United
Poultry Concerns and all the activists who have worked tirelessly for years
to
show the world that chickens are amazing, courageous, beautiful and loving
beings. We give thanks for all the information we have now to help us
educate
pre-vegans. We ask for blessings of peace for every single individual among
the
billions who are being killed. For while the killing machines grind on, we
know
that each precious chicken has lost friends, children, mothers, and suffered
terrible pain and heartache. We honor and memorialize them all—the fallen.
And
we pray for strength, clarity and inner peace, that we may stand in
solidarity
with them as long as it takes to win their freedom from human violence at
last.
And as our tears fall for them, may we also feel that spiritual joy that
comes
from being awakened to our very real kinship with chickens. What a blessing
it
is to know that they are our friends, not our food. Help us to be love and
to
bring love to all people and all beings. As always, I send my thanks to
each of
you, dear Prayer Circle members, for joining this circle of compassion and
shining the Light of Truth for all to see, so that one day soon, all beings
will
be free.

*May compassion and love reign over all the earth for all beings
everywhere.*
*Thank you all for your devotion to truth, love, liberation and peace for
all*
*beings.*

With Love, peace, and gratitude from Judy Carman, and greetings from Will,
Madeleine, and the Circle of Compassion team.

*PLEASE SHARE* this prayer by going to the Prayer Circle for Animals
Facebook <https://www.facebook.com/groups/prayercircleforanimals/>.
This prayer is posted there. You can also share ideas and prayer requests on
that facebook.

*PLEASE VISIT* the Circle of Compassion website
<http://circleofcompassion.org> for “A prayer a day for animals;”
and the Daily Noon Prayer. To help expand this ministry, donations are
gratefully accepted.


United Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization that promotes
the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl.
Don’t just switch from beef to chicken. Go Vegan.
http://www.UPC-online.org/ http://www.twitter.com/upcnews
http://www.facebook.com/UnitedPoultryConcerns

View this article online
<http://upc-online.org/respect/180428_prayer_circle_for_animals_371.html

For the Love of Chickens in Honor of International Respect for Chickens Day

By Karen Davis, PhD, President of United Poultry Concerns*

I Know Just How Incredible Chickens Are: I’ve Spent More Than Thirty Years
Getting to Know Them

“The poultry industry represents chickens as mentally vacuous, eviscerated
organisms. Hens bred for egg production are said to be suited to a cage,
with no
need for personal space or normal foraging and social activity. They are
characterized as aggressors who, notwithstanding their proclaimed passivity
and
affinity for cages, cannot live together without first having a portion of
their
sensitive beaks burned off-otherwise, it is said, they will tear each other
up.
Similarly, the instinct to tend and fuss over her eggs and be a mother has
been
rooted out of these hens (so it is claimed), and the idea of one’s having a
social relationship with such hens is dismissed as silly sentimentalism. .
. .”

Read Karen’s article: I Know Just How Incredible Chickens Are: I’ve Spent
More
<https://www.alternet.org/animal-rights/love-chickens-honor-international-respect-chickens-day>
Than Thirty Years Getting to Know Them
<https://www.alternet.org/animal-rights/love-chickens-honor-international-respect-chickens-day>
.

Please do an ACTION for:
International Respect for Chickens Day May 4/Month of May
<http://www.upc-online.org/respect/>


United Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization that promotes
the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl.
Don’t just switch from beef to chicken. Go Vegan.
http://www.UPC-online.org/ http://www.twitter.com/upcnews
http://www.facebook.com/UnitedPoultryConcerns

View this article online
<http://upc-online.org/respect/180427_for_the_love_of_chickens.html>

Egg Industry Ballot Measures Seek to Legalize Battery Cages in California

https://stoptherottenegginitiative.org/

Vote NO on Proposition (TBA)

“This initiative should be fiercely opposed by everyone who cares about farm animal suffering. HSUS’s collusion with the egg industry is disturbing. From legalizing battery cages to allowing as little as one square foot of space per hen — this initiative would be a disaster for millions of egg-laying hens who would still be left suffering in battery cages throughout California.”

— Friends of Animals (FoA)
Email Address*

Egg Industry Ballot Measures Seek to Legalize Battery Cages in California

The United Egg Producers and the Association of California Egg Farmers are each pushing measures for 2018 that would explicitly legalize battery cages throughout California.

In nearly identical measures, these industry trade associations are attempting to repeal California’s present hen-housing law which was overwhelmingly approved by voters 10 years ago. That law, though not without issues, states that egg-laying hens must be given enough space to be able to “fully spread both wings without touching the side of an enclosure or other egg-laying hens.”

The industry’s measures would repeal that — and replace it with language that explicitly legalizes battery cages throughout the state. And regardless of whether the hens are in cages or in horrific multi-level “cage-free” factory systems, the industry needs only to provide hens with one square foot of space per hen. For political cover, the United Egg Producers (UEP) is relying upon the co-opted Humane Society of the United States and tag-alongs who are gathering signatures to put the egg industry’s toxic measure on the ballot.

Read more >