Watching the following video almost brought tears to my eyes:
These rescued hens, who are about 2 years old, rather than being slaughtered as is usually the case with factory hens, got to experience nature for the first time in their lives. Up until being brought to a farm animal sanctuary (where they came from wasn't really a farm), they had never experienced the out-of-doors. Instead, they spent their entire lives living in extremely filthy and cramped quarters, treated as a commodity to crank out eggs as fast as their bodies would allow. Once their egg production dropped (as what happens with age), they were slated to be killed. I love that on our farm, when hens are no longer producing, we continue to feed and care for them, allowing them to live to a natural old age. Earlier this week we lost one of our older hens. Although I was sad at her passing, I was glad she had enjoyed a full life.
I believe I'm becoming more and more Buddhist in my understanding of the interconnectedness and value of all life. I've always believed that every creature has feelings and emotions and values its life as much as we value our own (within their cognitive limits). Having lived among a variety of species over the last decade, I see proof of the individuality of each animal and its desire to preserve one's one life. One could say it is instinct, but the same could be said about humans. As I know every form of life wants to live, I resort to things such as spider rescue in my house. Of course, I do have to kill insects and snakes that are poisonous or do harm to our food supply, but I am sorry when I do.
Please learn about what happens to animals that are raised for food and, once you do, refrain from supporting the companies that are disrespectful and cruel to their animals. If you wouldn't want your puppy or kitten treated in such a manner while alive, I would hope you wouldn't want that for a cow, pig, chicken, or any other animal used for food. They have feelings, too.