May all that lave life be delivered from suffering - Buddha
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And so, at this point, most all of us are now aware of the agreement between United Egg Producers and the HSUS to support a mutually acceptable federal legislation proposal, one which would provide, among other things, a national standard of welfare for this nation’s approximately 280 million egg-laying hens.  Anyone aware of the truly indescribable suffering imposed upon these hens will immediately recognize, reading the legislation, that this is, indeed, an empty and indifferent proposal; empty of measureable improvement in the torturous conditions that now exist for these hens, and thus, a proposal utterly indifferent to their suffering.  As Karen Davis has so aptly put things, this proposed legislation is in fact, “a huge step backward”.

And sitting here, thinking on this, I can’t help but reflect:  no Karen, it’s even worse. It’s a huge step backward, and over the cliff’s edge.  At a time in the History of Man when we are, more than ever, finally tuning in to the twisted reality of our actions in regard to other living creatures, when we are actually confronted with undeniable truths in the heart-wrenching videos, in the scientific evidence proving that animal-part-eating humans are consuming chemically saturated, diseased, suffering creatures trapped in a state of prolonged, anguished, unimaginably painful, dying–in light of all these things, UEP and the HSUS come up with:  this?  At a time when the consequences of factory farming, other than those of pure pain and suffering, are being measured in contaminated ground water, soil, atmosphere, when every aspect of the industry is being viewed as simply, unsustainable, United Egg Producers and the Humane Society smile and wring their greedy hands over:  this?

This is not, of course, about hens at all–to UEP and HSUS.  It’s about a division of what is, in fact, a money pie.  It’s a greasing of the axel to insure the wheels and gears will continuously turn–without discouragement.  Without possible derailment.  This proposal is not, by any possible definition, a recognition of what needs to be done to make things better for the hens, it’s a recognition of what needs to be done TO PREVENT significant change being mandated, to make things better for the hens.  Buried beneath cries of victory and self-satisfied congratulation, lost beneath the celebration–there will you find the truth of this matter.  The poor, broken feathered bodies, severed combs, prolapsed cloacae, missing toes, breaking bones.  The infection, the rotting toes, the missing legs, missing wings, missing eyes, missing beaks, dying gasps–the filth, the despair, the darkness, the unrelenting suffering, the utterly appalling gut wrenching torture that is their life–this, the reality, all lost beneath the thunder of self-applause.  At a time when the survival message, for humans, is so very crystal clear:  turn to alternative protein sources or, in time, forfeit the earth–from UEP and HSUS comes this ridiculous, self centered, profit fueled, pitiful, proposal for federal legislation.

The UEP, well–they’re just doing what they’ve always done:  follow the money trail.  They have never pretended to care about the hens’ quality of life.  But I ask you:  how does Wayne Pacelle meet his own eyes in the mirror?  How do movers within the HSUS sleep at night?  I wonder about this; truly, I do.  I understand, they are not like me.  I understand, they are not like us.  I have come to understand, they are just like, them. They say one thing, but do another.  They wear, many disguises.  They are all about big business, at any cost, any cost, and that business has very little to do with the word:  humane.  They take donations for things they do not do, for inhumane actions.  They are not attempting to help the 280 million living, sentient individuals trapped in the nightmare of the egg producing industry.  They are, instead, in the bigger picture, very intentionally attempting to destroy the few fragile life lines available to help those very hens.  They are, instead, doing them harm.  They are indeed, sleeping with the enemy.  They are not attempting to inspire a conscience in the great, vast, apathetic population of this country; they are, instead, attempting to appease that conscience, to quiet dissent, by implying:  humane standards are in place.  When, clearly, they are not.

It takes a lot to balance the selling out of 280 million individuals, that number being refreshed on approximately a yearly basis, by yet another 280 million individuals, for at least the next 18 years.  We are talking, my friends, about the selling out of 50,400,000,000 living, feeling, individuals; the dooming of well over fifty billion birds, to a life of indescribable agony.  And by not fighting for them, for significant, appreciable change, for cage-free living, you are, indeed, truly dooming them.  By not even suggesting the notion, why eat eggs at all? you are going forward with bloodied hands.

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You need to change your name, HSUS.  If you must keep the letters, be honest, just this one time, and call yourself, The Harm Society of the United States.  Because, that is what you bring:  harm.  Steps backward, backward and over the cliff’s edge.  With no feathers to break the plunge.  With no wings, to soar.

Linda Brink

Director, Sunnyskies Bird & Animal Sanctuary

Warwick, NY


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