Ideas to Celebrate Chickens and Inspire Compassion

By Yolanda Doyon Larivier

An Avian Activist’s contribution to International Respect for Chickens Day/month of May

Karen giving Alice the hen a hug
Karen Davis hugs Alice, who was rescued from a Perdue facility in Maryland. UPC sanctuary photo by Karen Porreca

First, I’d like to say, you, Karen Davis, taught me, an avid animal lover, all about chickens!

I had a cockatoo whom I loved as a child; and I loved birds my entire life, and even rescued pigeons as a child. But I never lived with a chicken; nor did I even have an opportunity to really know one socially or personally.

As an animal activist, I know how difficult it can be to get people to know – and love – and truly understand animals, especially birds and those who are used for food.

I believe the only way to get most people to change their views and eating habits is to have a personal, social relationship with them. They must live in your home, under your roof, and be treated as a family member.

Your piece that talked about how chickens purr when you hold and pet them, and a rooster who met his companion child at the school bus every day after school, these stories are so telling.

Even though I love all animals and know all the horrors, I still placed them in my mouth, on occasion.

I am happy to report my family and I are 100% vegan now, and I have never been happier and so proud of myself and them.

Change is never easy for humans; and when something tastes good, and people are told it’s healthy, and required to maintain health, even though it’s not true – it’s almost impossible to get the message across, no matter how severely cruel eating animals is, especially with chickens. They are all treated like products, with no humanity at all. What I have witnessed firsthand would make you vomit.

So, please continue your good work, and consider programs in early childhood that will get children petting them, holding them, hearing them purr. These images will stay in their minds, and keep them from wanting to eat their friends. Encourage social relationships, and drive home the cruelty – the diseases from horrible handling – no sun, no fresh air, crowded living conditions – the sheer hell in which chickens and billions of farm animals live.

–Yolanda Doyon Larivier, May 4, 2022