May 4 is International Respect for Chickens Day, and the month of May is International Respect for Chickens Month. This day and month were launched by United Poultry Concerns
8 years ago. UPC has great brochures and posters you can order to use at educational events to help people make the heart/mind connection that chickens are friends not food.
It's not quite May yet but several of us had the opportunity to hand out literature, display art, share vegan food, and speak out for chickens to a diverse group (many non-vegans) on Saturday, April 21. Ours was a response to "The Story of Chickens-A Revolution." This was an art project orchestrated by Amber Hansen. Her purpose was to create dialogue about urban chicken raising and to get people thinking about the animals they eat. Her original plan was to display the chickens in public places for a month and then kill and eat them at the closing event.
As it turned out, we didn't have to perform a chicken rescue, because the city prohibits both the public display and killing of chickens in city limits. So instead we had an opportunity as voices for the chickens to explain what beautiful beings they are, not here for us to use, but here for their own reasons. One point made was that the true "revolution" is not about so-called "humane" killing, but rather about becoming a non-violent species that cares for rather than destroys life.
In The Missing Peace, I tell the story in "Then I met chicken" about a little chicken who literally saved her people, including a toddler from being attacked by a dog. She flew at the dog, flapped her wings and pecked at his face until he ran off, allowing the people enough time to get inside their home.
All through May (and beyond, of course) let us be especially mindful of the billions of chickens who suffer endlessly every single day. They are prisoners of war on a scale never seen prior to this century. And while we send comfort and love from our hearts to theirs, let us also receive the peace and strength we need to carry on. The healing balm for the heartache of knowing what we know is that we See, not only their suffering, but also the radiant truth of who they are-our sacred brothers and sisters. As Paul Seymour so beautifully sings it-"They're not here for us, we're here for them."
With Love, peace, and gratitude from Judy