There were pheasants crammed into cages so small that all they could do with their bodies was sit there in utter misery. Roosters were crammed so tightly that they couldn't turn around or even spread their wings. In several of the crates, there were birds standing over the dead bodies of those who had already died from starvation or from being crushed.
I followed Wayne Hsiung towards the back of this hell hole where the workers performed the slaughter. Upon entering this room, I looked down and there, next to my feet, were bins filled with the dead bodies of birds who had been de-feathered and had their necks slit. I had trouble breathing due to the lack of ventilation and the filth and feces that filled the air. As Wayne pleaded with the worker in Chinese to end these acts of violence, I couldn’t help but pity the worker. He didn’t say a word at first. The man stood there in front of the wringer with his head hanging down and his arms by his side. In that eerie room, I also stood still, filled with disbelief. How could this sort of outright violence be so normalized? I thought about my past visits to the city of San Francisco and how beautiful it always seemed to me. Yet, as I stood in that back room, I felt as if I was in a horror scene in a movie.
It was painful for me to witness the conditions of that facility. Still, as atrocious and scary as it was, I didn’t once feel tempted to run out of there. Those innocent birds needed our help. They were literally crying for help. As I stared into their eyes, they stared back into mine, and it was obvious that they were searching for an escape. These birds were only a few months old and had never experienced freedom or human kindness. As Wayne placed the first hen into my arms, the young bird kept still, and I felt the lifelessness within her boney body. I’ve volunteered at many animal sanctuaries and I can tell you that chickens don’t typically like being held. They love and value their freedom to run around and explore. Walking out with these liberated hens and feeling their weak bodies in my arms, joy chimed in with the pain I felt.
Joy because I knew that the very second Wayne removed these gravely ill hens from their cages and placed them in Hana’s and my arms, their fates changed completely. Instead of a violent death, these six rescued individuals would experience the freedom they deserve, the freedom that all the birds in that facility and throughout the world deserve. No one, human or non-human, was put on this planet to be treated so cruelly. For any reason. All animals have every right to be happy, safe, and free. The story of these six hens who were rescued from this facility will spread like wildfire, and the power of open rescue will be shared across the globe, exposing the violence of animal exploitation. Join the animal rights movement today and you too can change the world for animals!
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