Meet Rascal and Greta; lovebirds shacking up together at Catskill Animal Sanctuary. Rascal, aptly named for his attitude, came to us in 2008. His ornery reputation kept other birds and humans at a distance, that is until Greta came along. Gorgeous Greta caught Rascal’s eye shortly after being rescued in 2015. He fell hard and fast, and now these two birds of a feather spend their days exploring, squawking, and pecking together for bugs in the lush, green grass of the sanctuary. A spacious coop with room to perch and nest, shelter for outdoor dining, and lots of attention from staff and visitors are some of the reasons these two birds seem pleased to call this place home.
A love story with a happy ending, Rascal and Greta are companions, doing what chickens do best; forming bonds, nesting, foraging for food, stretching their wings in the sunshine, and enjoying a good dust bath once in a while. Sadly, of the billions of chickens in the world, there are more tragic endings than happy ones. Chickens raised for slaughter or to lay eggs live bleak, tortured lives, devoid of the simple pleasures that these curious, social animals are entitled to. Unlike Rascal and Greta, these chickens will never feel the warm breeze of a spring day or the joy of having a friend. In fact, they won’t ever have the opportunity to express their real “chicken-ness.” Instead, they will be manipulated, crammed, handled, brutalized, and slaughtered like a lifeless commodity.
Since 2005, May has been devoted to chickens. International Respect for Chickens Month was designed to honor these curious, intelligent creatures, and to educate people in the hopes that we might come to respect them for the unique beings that they are.
This month, when we are especially mindful of the plight our glorious feathered friends, please consider these 10 ways to honor chickens this month:
1. Try one of our delicious chicken-free recipes and share it with others:
8. Let everyone know that chickens aren’t nuggets. Check out these terrific “I am not a nugget” t-shirts.
9. Visit Catskill Animal Sanctuary and meet Rascal, Greta, and many of our other feathered residents and understand why, in the ways that truly matter, we are all the same.
10. Stop by Peabody’s Place when you visit Catskill Animal Sanctuary and explore our vegan food tastings and cooking demonstrations that highlight chicken and egg-free recipes this month.