I have been impressed by the realization that a few men have virtually 'decided' what experiences count and even exist in the world. The language of Western science--the reigning construct of male hegemony--precludes the ability to express the experiential realities it talks about. Virtually all the actual experiences of this world, expressed through the manifest and mysterious characteristics of all the different beings, are unrepresented in the stainless steel edicts of experts. Where is the voice of the voiceless in the scientific literature, including the literature of environmental ethics?
The recognition that human beings are specifically and deliberately responsible for whatever aberrances farm animals may embody, that their discordances reflect our, not their, primary disruption of natural rhythms, and that we owe them more rather than less for having stripped them of their birthright and earthrights has not entered into the environmentalist discussions that I've encountered to date.
I am a battery hen. I live in a cage so small I cannot stretch my wings. I am forced to stand night and day on a sloping wire mesh floor that painfully cuts into my feet. The cage walls tear my feathers, forming blood blisters that never heal. The air is so full of ammonia that my lungs hurt and my eyes burn and I think I am going blind. As soon as I was born, a man grabbed me and sheared off part of my beak with a hot iron, and my little brothers were thrown into trash bags as useless alive.My mind is alert and my body is sensitive and I should have been richly feathered. In nature or even a farmyard I would have had sociable, cleansing dust baths with my flock mates, a need so strong that I perform 'vacuum' dust bathing on the wire floor of my cage. Free, I would have ranged my ancestral jungles and fields with my mates, devouring plants, earthworms, and insects from sunrise to dusk. I would have exercised my body and expressed my nature, and I would have given, and received, pleasure as a whole being. I am only a year old, but I am already a 'spent hen.' Humans, I wish I were dead, and soon I will be dead. Look for pieces of my wounded flesh wherever chicken pies and soups are sold.