To the editor: In defense of Angel
I read with growing revulsion your submission on the rooster, Angel. Beginning with the fact that you mail ordered living creatures (and yes, the factory farm hatcheries always include unwanted roosters: the roosters are used as living packing material, which is perhaps preferable to being put out to die in a black baggie or being ground up alive for dog food.) You wanted a rooster to protect your hens, and that is precisely what this rooster was attempting to do: protect the hens. Chickens are territorial by nature, something you might perhaps have understood a bit better and respected, if you had bothered to educate yourself on the ways of these birds before purchasing them. There are many ways around rooster aggression, if one cares enough to explore options other than cutting the creature’s throat.
Also, there are organizations that give sanctuary to roosters. If you had taken just a moment to explore this option, you might have saved this bird’s life, rather than destroyed it.
There is such a terrible disrespect for life in our culture, and for understanding the nature of creatures other than those humans who inhabit this earth. And people wonder about violence in America. You raise a living creature from babyhood and terrify him by hanging him upside down, and then cutting his throat—a terribly painful way to kill a chicken, by the way. Saddest of all, you missed the daily non-sexual part of this rooster’s interactions with the hens. It is complex and quite beautiful to observe. And though you will not miss Angel, believe me, your hens will miss him. Judging the behavior of chickens, or any other life forms, by human standards is to reach faulty conclusions. Like so many wonderful creatures who die ugly deaths at the hands of humans for reasons of convenience and ignorance, Angel was a vital, living element of the flock who was indeed, your victim.
Linda Brink, Warwick