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A “Super Bowl” of Suffering for Nothing

February 22, 2022
Beth Clifton’s collage depicts the contrition of Virgil Butler & Laura Alexander, who wrote: “We could no longer look at a piece of meat anymore without seeing the sad face of the suffering animal who had lived in it when the animal was still alive.”

Source United Poultry Concerns

By Karen Davis, PhD

“The chickens try to hide their head from you by sticking it under the wing of the chicken next to them on the slaughter line. You can tell by them looking at you, they’re scared to death.”

– Virgil Butler, former Tyson chicken slaughterhouse worker


(Ancestral memories in a metal “broiler” chicken shed.)

He sits in this house of feces and pain
With thousands of others
All the same, call it a triumph or
Call it insane.
His eyes are burning.
His liver is leaking.
His legs are aching and lame.
But he will be
Eaten with pleasure
All the same.

His nerves, bones and tendons will be nuggets in a bucket
Chewed by a fan
At a game.
His “wings” (don’t ask) will prove
What it means
To be a Man
Like every other
Man and his brother,

His breast will water
The mouth of a lady trying
To lose weight with this
Lump on her plate.
For this he was made
For supper.

Meanwhile he dreams his
Impossible dream:
Ancestral memories
Of family and friends
Of tropical forest all rainy and green
From which he came
To suffer like this
For a foul mouth of chicken bliss.

– Karen Davis

KAREN DAVIS, PhD is the President and Founder of United Poultry Concerns, a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl including a sanctuary for chickens in Virginia. Inducted into the National Animal Rights Hall of Fame for Outstanding Contributions to Animal Liberation, Karen is the author of numerous books, essays, articles and campaigns. Her books include A Home for Henny; Instead of Chicken, Instead of Turkey: A Poultryless ‘Poultry’ PotpourriPrisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs: An Inside Look at the Modern Poultry Industry; More Than a Meal: The Turkey in History, Myth, Ritual, and Reality; and The Holocaust and the Henmaid’s Tale: A Case for Comparing Atrocities. Karen’s latest book is For the Birds: From Exploitation to Liberation – Essays on Chickens, Turkeys, and Other Domesticated Fowl.

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Friends not food

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

7 Comments leave one →
  1. February 22, 2022 4:19 am

    Dear, I don’t have words anymore… my heart is swallen and my eyes bleeding.
    The price humanity will pay is extinction. And that, finally, will maybe put to an end to speciesism and human atrocities towards other creatures.

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 22, 2022 12:31 pm

      Humans are incapable of thinking beyond their privileged desires,it’s too inconvenient to care about nonhuman animals when it’s so indoctrinated in humans to spend five minutes consuming animals’ brief lives of suffering. Even those who KNOW still DON’T CARE. They just euphemize it for self-comfort. I don’t understand how anyone can think that violent slaughter can be anything other than Hell. Thank you for all you do, beautiful Claudine.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. February 22, 2022 4:23 am

    Friends not food

    Liked by 1 person

  3. February 22, 2022 8:31 am

    I hate this world for animals I truly do. There’s not one species that doesn’t suffer some how through the evil ignorance of humans !

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 22, 2022 12:33 pm

      Agree, most of the atrocities I’ve learned about while being vegan, are nothing I could ever imagine or design. Humans rule Hell for animals, and then they pretend another Hell exists to euphemize the one invented for nonhuman ones here. As long as “other” evil exists, nothing humans do can ever be considered such. Self-comforting delusions, people always define the suffering of others in ways that provides them comfort causing the suffering of others.


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