This has been noodling around in my head for a while and I just had to get it out.
Acrylic on acid free mat board, 9" x 6.5"
This is dedicated to the production hens of the world. I do this to inspire thought, not debate. Once, I would encourage debate. Now, I am too tired. Please be respectful. This is not a "be a vegan/vegetarian!" rant. Please be whatever you wish to be. Do not share such rants here (for or against), as this is not the place. My art is not your platform. This is my tribute to those birds that are, and have been.
Countless millions live in misery every year so that we may have eggs. The majority live short lives, often in truly cruel conditions. "It's just a chicken", says anyone that has not seen the fierce, intelligent gaze of these birds, nor their curious and friendly nature. "It's just a chicken", says anyone that has not had one of these expressive, personable creatures napping in their lap.
Sadly, even the ones that escape this fate... the ones that end up in happy places, where they can roam under the sun in grassy bliss... face the truth of their genetics. When they are bred solely for production, bred so that their body produces as many eggs as quickly as possible before they die, it is a long-term stress on the body. Many die early deaths, even under the best care, from reproductive diseases and ovarian cancer. Such was the fate of dear sweet Kua, painted above, at age three.
The story of the production hen is a sad one, but it does not have to remain sad. If you are interested in helping, when raising chooks, consider heritage breeds. When buying eggs, seek out your local farmer or backyard flock keeper when possible. Many people keep chickens, and many people with chickens experience a surplus of eggs. If you need help, some sites to search here in the US are: http://www.localharvest.org http://www.eggzy.net try your local craigslist too, and ask around, especially if there is a farmer's market nearby. I understand that not everyone has 'farm eggs' available and that not everyone can afford them. This message is mostly for those that have the means available.