by Karen West
first it was hard to pinpoint a single aspect of nature, whose wounds
affected me on an emotional level, but then I realised that there has
always been this one thing that gets me worked up, angry and sad all at
the same time - chicken batteries.
What I know about batteries is all from a book I read when I was young
called Omelette, A Chicken in Peril, which tells of chickens
in small cages packed together, one on top of the other, one bird to a
cage and barely any room to move whatsoever. They spend their entire life
in a cage once they are fully-grown, without having any contact with anything
outside the battery. Some may think of this problem as small in the greater
scheme of things, but I think that it cuts to the core of all issues involved
in the way humans interact with their environment. There is no respect
for the chickens as living things at all and they are heavily exploited
to the extreme, with their purpose in life severely twisted to suit human
needs. It is not even a need what is the reason for placing something
in a tiny cage for its whole life so that it can have no connection with
the outside world, let alone its own species? Chicken batteries are the
most inhumane, thoughtless and cruel constructions, and I cant even
express the distress I feel when I think about it.
Personally, I cant stand any situation where all my choices are
taken away, where my view is limited to what is just in front of my eyes.
I suppose it was one of the reasons I had to move away from Darwin, which
was becoming like a battery in itself, restricting the paths I wished
to take in life. I needed to get out so that I could see myself in relation
to the outside world, not just Darwin, and also so that I could reach
my potential in life. A chicken in a small little cage could not be able
to go about doing what it wished to do or reach its potential in life
because it would have no life. In that small cage I could have been driven
to insanity, as Im sure all chickens in batteries must succumb to,
with nothing but monotony surrounding their days. What I learnt from nature
was that I was not meant to live my life in a battery, and that by breaking
out I am not just a single entity any more, but part of a bigger picture.