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  • Writer's pictureHarmony Farm Sanctuary

When you become friends it helps remove your own limitations

Tom Sawyer was a good friend. He was a chill guy who was a very big rooster but also very gentle soul. He disappeared last week. A big owl may have taken him. What a sad, sad day for so many of us at the farm. I like roosters. I like the sound they make in the morning. I like that they remind me that I am alive, I am nature, that we all live on the earth together. Tom was a generally quiet rooster but he had a big loud crow every so often. When he had mites on his legs we had to handle him regularly. When we picked him up he was just chill. His eye was close by your face and he just gazed at you. He got excited when new veggies arrived and would call to his ladies, letting them have first dibs on the goodies. When tiny rooster Mango, who feels like he has to prove his worth, would get in his space, Tom just let him. No fights. Generally Roosters are considered valueless. They are killed after hatching in the egg industry, primarily ground up alive - that occurs whether free range, organic, or battery cage. Worldwide, around 7 billion male chicks are culled per year in the egg industry. And if they make it, born on a random farm or missed in the sexing process, they end up banned from neighborhoods because of the inconvenience of their crowing, they are written off as a nuisance with again, no value ... I find this particularly interesting because I love hearing roosters when I am in SE Asian villages, it feels so natural. Perhaps American’s fear of poverty is sparked when they hear roosters? In the farmed animal world, just because they were born males these animals are often killed. We get more emails about roosters needing homes than any other animals. When we become friends with a being, regardless of species, we begin to see past the judgements we have been taught. For me, the cruelty that chickens incur in the egg industry is something I refuse to be part of roosters and hens. These beings are my friends. I can’t limit my love because they are roosters. And being part of cruelty hurts us too… even if we pretend we don’t know. When I told many human friends how upset I was that Tom died it felt odd, because they eat chickens and eggs with zero regard to their individuality and so why would Tom matter? I felt like I was exposing my friend Tom to more dismissal. But really, maybe I was exposing my human friends to more potential to love. To remove the labels that cause us to cause harm to others without feeling anything. Tom and all his buddies at the farm, are emotional, goofy, playful, beings that do matter.

- Kelly

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