Diary of a Mother Hen – Day 5


I was up before the sun as usual, and as I drank my tea and ate my oatmeal, I pondered what the day would bring. I know it will bring heartache along with the satisfaction of being sure that my vegan approach to everything is the right way.

There is a clamoring in my head over the plight of animals which has become as familiar to me as my own hands. I recounted the conversation with a good friend who is miserable over the negligent behavior of neighbors with their backyard hens, and I read the plea from a rooster rescuer as I opened my computer.

I am fortunate to know so many good, hardworking people who are trying to make a difference for individual animals and for the billions caught in systems of exploitation, but I know so many others who are content or indifferent enough to live with and support the cruelty around us.

What would it take to live as so many in my midst live? This is no academic question as we are living with two young chickens in our sunroom.

What would it have taken to lift Kotori up with a firm grip to bring her sensitive, flawless beak up to a hot cutting blade?

What would it have taken to grasp this lovely, little dancer to shove her in a cage with others so that she could never unfold her wings again?

What would it have taken to see to it that Harumi and Kotori never preened again or rushed within their ample space to see me?

What would it take to allow my own selfish desires to take precedence over their need for fresh food, clean water, and a clean and comfortable space?

What would it take to turn a deaf ear to their frantic vocalizing as they endured the “standard practices” of an industry that celebrates and gains from their lifeless bodies hanging upside down?

Whatever it would take, I don’t have it, and for that I am deeply, deeply grateful.

– Linda Nelson


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