Mercifulness, compassion and moral are the catchphrases of our society and appearantly the unique qualities of mankind – for all those people who haven’t deleted those words from their conscience.
Easter is the current occasion for compassion with all beings, but sadly the original meaning of the birth of compassion and love for all our fellow beings, humans and other animals, is being alienated more and more.
The animal rights actions during easter in Austria also considered the religious aspect of animal welfare.
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Mat. 25, 40)
Instead of love there are coloured eggs and the easter roast. They don’t speak our languages, so some take advantage of it, but some dare to speak for them.
On 30th of March animal rights activists demonstrated very graphically how livestock bear their cross to the slaughterhouse and are killed there for our greed. Meat consumption, especially the current extent of it in the civilized part of the world, is nowadays nothing more than greed and old habbits.
Once mankind needed meat to survive in cold winters when we lived in caves – or in the religious view: when the earth was flooded, except for the animals on Noah’s Ark.
We have evolved in many ways since then, but obviously many did not ethically.
“And God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.’” (Gen. 1, 29)
On Easter Sunday 3 activists informed mass visitors in front of a catholic church about the cruel life conditions for laying hens in Austria.
We enjoy the colourful eggs and the easter egg hunt but the life of the hens who produced them for us is ignored. Barn eggs are seen as alternative to cage eggs in Austria. Battery cages are forbidden in Austria, which of course is a big improvement. Sadly there are still so called widened cages (which are slightly bigger) for less hens than in battery cages and there are still barn hens. Living in a barn sounds like a nice life, but in one barn in Austria farmers are allowed to keep 6000 hens. This causes not only too little space in most cases but also injuries and sickness because of the poor hygiene. Only few farmers can afford to keep their hens in low numbers and outside. If there was such a high consumption of eggs the whole year as there is during easter, there would be no such small farms anymore at all.
All farmers get their new hens from hatcheries where they are bred by machines. When they hatch, they are selected on their first day – males from females. When consumption was far less than today the males were used for meat production. The laying breed males don’t produce a lot meat, that’s why today there is another breed that produces more meat in less time, which makes the males from the laying breed useless. They are gassed the first day of their lives. The chicks who hatch too late, no matter if male or female, are being shredded with the egg shells.
The number of suffering hens can only be reduced and one day vanquished after a radical reduction or avoidance of eggs and egg products. Especially the products which contain eggs that aren’t classified as free-range usually come from caged hens.
“As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; humans have no advantage over animals.” (Ecclesiastes 3, 18-19)