To the editor of THE EAGLE:
Can you imagine what it would be like to have a short chain around your neck 24 hours each day and be forced to stand on a slotted wood floor where you can easily slip and often get your tiny hoof caught between the slats? What must it be like to be torn away from your mother and never allowed to nurse, but rather forced to drink milk from a bucket and then be unable to lie down to stretch your limbs? If you suffer from diarrhea as many veal calves do, no one really cares. Such is the life of a veal calf kept in a crate on an intense confinement system.
Can you imagine what it would be like to share a cage with seven other hens, no place to build a nest, no place to take a dust bath and not even a place to spread your wings as you are only allotted the space of a piece of copy paper to live your entire life? Such is the life of a laying hen kept in an intense confinement system.
Can you imagine what it would be like to be unable to turn around, lie down comfortably, nurse your piglets or even scratch an itch? You are an intelligent animal, considered by many scientists to be more intelligent than a dog and yet you spend your entire life pregnant, nursing and impregnated again while going insane from the boredom and stress. Such is the life of a pig kept in an intense confinement system.
There is a bill, currently in committee, H.1456, which would prohibit the confinement of farm animals in a manner that does not allow them to turn around freely, lie down, stand up, and fully extend their limbs. H.1456 would prohibit the use of veal crates for calves, gestation crates for pregnant pigs, and battery cages for hens in Massachusetts.
We’ve got a good record in Massachusetts of treating animals humanely. Let’s extend that kindness to calves, pigs and hens. Please call your state senator and representative and ask them to support H.1456. If you need to find out who your legislators are, go to: www.wheredoivotema.com
JUDITH E. EMBRY