I don’t usually get all political in this blog. Usually it’s a happy place where I tell you about veggies and show you mouthwatering pics of stuff Mr. Wonderful and I eat…but this time, I have to get this out there.
I grew up in a sleepy little village, south west of Ann Arbor, Michigan. It’s a regular village with regular people and it’s home to the regular types of things like a hardware store, a Dairy Queen, pizza joints, antique stores, a fair, a football team, and happens to host a festival annually called The Chicken Broil. I’ve talked about it here a little before, always kinda glazing over the cooking thousands of chicken halves part to bring you radish sammich and coleslaw earlier in this blog’s life. You know the stuff that I don’t get angry about.
It’s kinda a big deal- The Chicken Broil is a summer tradition first organized in the 1950s in which nearly 600 volunteers grill 19,000 pounds of chicken and feed approximately 12,000 guests (SWWCOG). It’s a civic fundraiser that distributes net proceeds to a number of charitable causes in the community. Past funds have gone to public schools, community parks, libraries and other various non-profit groups for items such as playgrounds, high school band uniforms and equipment for local Boy Scout troops (USA Today). It’s a do-gooder thing and very much a part of its midwestern roots. I’m lucky to have benefited in some way from these proceeds growing up I’m sure; however, in growing up and pardon the pun, but in spreading my own wings, I’ve developed a differing attitude to the Chicken Broil in adopting a meat-free lifestyle.
I mention this festival because of the irony that comes when I see in my news feed today that my hometown-home of The Chicken Broil is also home to SASHA Farm Sanctuary one of the most loved farm animal sanctuaries in the midwest that just made national news this week for taking delivery of 100 of the 1,200 hens aero-rescued from a factory hen farm in California-the first time ever that hens were flown across country in a private plane in a rescue effort. They arrived in New York and then were prepped to live out their feathery lives at nine different animal rescues in the US. The 2-yr-old white leghorns are from a battery cage egg farm where they lived in cages so small they couldn’t stretch their wings. When they were 8-days-old, the hens had a portion of their beaks cut off without pain relief to prevent fighting in cages. And you thought your life was difficult!?
The remaining 1,850 from the factory farm are available for adoption through Animal Place in California. SASHA Farm will be giving the hens permanent homes. Each bird needs a sponsor to help give them the life they deserve and everything they have been deprived of.
If you were wondering what the fate of the birds would have been without rescue…well, they would have been gassed and tossed like common garbage into the local landfill or ground up and placed in “feed” for other animals, etc as they were “no longer of use” to humans. Now tell me honestly….why are we supporting factory farming and mass consumption of birds and their eggs? To donate to save other farm animals from a landfill as their final resting place, please visit www.sashafarm.org.