04/05/07 24 Hours in a Cage
Animal Friends protests on the behalf of hens
At Eastertide, when people buy and consume tons of eggs, neglecting the fact that they are consuming cholesterol bombs and potential carriers of salmonella, Animal Friends warns about the ugly truth on the cruelty inflicted on hens and chicken, a truth that is concealed behind the cheerful advertisements on "fresh" eggs and "healthy" poultry.
In order to draw the public attention to the horrible truth on the methods of breeding and treatment of hens and chicken, Animal Friends president Luka Oman will lock himself into a cage placed on Zagreb's main square Ban Jelacic for 24 hours on April 5 at 12 noon. The aim of the action is to make people think about those hens that spend all their life in a cage that is no bigger than an A4 sheet of paper, inviting them to stop consuming meat and eggs.
Next to the cage, there will be a tabling, where citizens will have the opportunity to watch the video footage on hen breeding and obtain informative leaflets.
Millions of egg-laying hens are confined in cages solely for the purpose of laying eggs. They spend their whole lives crammed in cages where they cannot even spread their wings. Young hens are previously de-beaked, meaning that their beaks are partly cut off with blazing steel, since the conditions they live in cause such terrible frustration which make them attack one another. Male chicken end up as waste, suffocated by gas or, more commonly, crushed alive.
Cages are made of wire that cuts into the hens' feet and plucks their feathers, which is why they have wounds, scabs and furuncles all over their bodies. Farmers completely ignore their physical and mental agony by keeping them under artificial lighting instead of sunlight, up to 22 hours a day.
Moreover, hens are constantly exposed to the stench of their own excrement, they suffer from permanent feet deformity, and a frequent phenomenon is the "egg-laying hens' fatigue," a disease that also results in the weakening of bones. Other hens suffer from the "fear and hysteria syndrome" and "fat liver syndrome," which can be fatal because of liver bleeding.
Farmers tend to solve these problems with an arsenal of dangerous medicines, which only increase the suffering of animals and also endangers human health. Egg-laying hens also have to go through "forced moulting," which prolongs the period of laying eggs and increases their size.
"Egg-laying hens cannot avoid these tortures, which we can barely imagine. They are forced to suffer until they reach the period in which their exhausted bodies are no longer capable of producing eggs. It is for this reason that I have decided to enclose myself in a cage for 24 hours on my birthday in order to launch a call for compassion with all those beings that suffer throughout their lives in cages because of human ruthlessness. I hope that this appeal will reach many people and make them change their diet and lifestyle," says Luka Oman, president of Animal Friends.
Battery cages are already banned in many countries all over the world. Croatia will follow the example of the EU, which has already issued such a ban, but it will only become effective on January 1, 2012.
The greatest power against such cruelty inflicted upon animals is in the hands of the consumers, who should consider switching to an ethical diet, thus contributing to their own health and environment protection.