No One Is Free When Others Are Oppressed: A Look Into Fowl Play (A Guest Blog by Steve)

About 97% of all the animals that are killed and exploited in the United States are used for food, yet these are the animals who typically have the fewest allies, the fewest advocates, that are working on their behalf. 
 -Nathan Runkle, founder of Mercy for Animals

Living in a world where the only way to get by is to keep up with the crowd, it's always nice to be informed of what's going on around us.  Unfortunately and all too often, we are kept in the dark.  There are many practices that go on where the truth is hidden from those of us on the outside.  In almost all cases, the outside represents the majority with those in the inner circle being a select few.  There couldn't be more of a prime example of this than the animal food industry.  

Photo courtesy of Mercy For Animals
Consumers have a right to know where their food comes from and animals have a right to have their story told. 
 -Nathan Runkle, founder of Mercy for Animals

Where does the meat that many eat for food come from?  What about eggs and milk?  And how does it get to you?  Many people may think they have an idea but are usually far from the truth.  The truth resides in a darkly veiled industry, one hidden away from the public eye.  Why close all the doors and cover all the windows?  What is there to hide?  An industry built on lies, abuse, torture, and suffering.  Few actually know about it, so it becomes a golden opportunity to reveal the hidden truths whenever anyone actually gets the chance.  The only way to stop the foul play that occurs on the inside is to create such pivotal opportunities to enlighten and educate - precisely what is done in Fowl Play.

In fact, if one person is unkind to an animal it is considered to be cruelty, but where a lot of people are unkind to animals, especially in the name of commerce, the cruelty is condoned and, once large sums of money are at stake, will be defended to the last by otherwise intelligent people. 
 - Ruth Harrison, author of Animal Machines

Photo courtesy of Fowl Play
Fowl Play, an award-winning documentary by the groundbreaking animal advocacy organization, Mercy for Animals, takes viewers behind the closed doors of the egg-laying industry and shines light on the appalling practices employed to bring food to the table.  The film introduces us to factory farmed hens and their tragic plight, animals who were survivors of the system, and many people who want to make a difference.  Through interviews with an animal behaviorist, a veterinarian, animal rescuers, some newly enlightened students, and MFA activists, we learn more about the story behind the animals who end up on our plates - how they are neglected, how they suffer, and, ultimately, how they die.  Yet, on a brighter note, we also get to learn about their eclectic personalities, their intelligence and sensitivity, and why they deserve good lives while in this world, just like us humans. 

Sharing a moment with a rescued hen at WFAS
 If anybody would get to know chickens, they would think twice about having them on their plate.  
- Mindy Mallet, founder of Sunrise Sanctuary 

What Fowl Play does a masterful job of is bridging the common disconnect between people's beliefs and actions.  While the majority of Americans are opposed to the inhumane treatment of animals, meat, egg, and dairy consumption are steadily on the rise.  Something as simple as seeing a visual to connect with a passing thought, or testimony from someone who has seen and experienced the horrors of animal life and death in factory farms and slaughterhouses, becomes enough to make the concepts of right and wrong much clearer.  What is normally an invisible, fleeting choice - what will I eat today? - finally gets brought back into the forefront, as we realize once again: for every action there is a reaction; for every choice we make, there is a consequence. We are responsible for our own choices.  What consequences do we wish to bring along with them?

On Mercy for Animals' website, their mission statement says: 

"MFA believes non-human animals are irreplaceable individuals with morally significant interests and hence rights. This includes the right to live free from unnecessary suffering and exploitation."

 For all those animals lovers out there, for all those who love life in any shape or form, free from suffering and exploitation - Fowl Play is a necessity to watch.  For the animals.  Who deserve better.

If we really clearly want to live the way we would want to be treated, if we as ethical people want to live by some form of a golden rule, then we need to learn to include a bigger sphere of animals within that circle of compassion that we, for now, only permit to extend to our companion animals. 
- Holly Cheever, DVM 

To the KMIV family: 

Fowl Play is currently on Netflix, but it won't be available to rent until enough people place it in their queue. If you have a NetFlix account, please place it in your queue today!

Fowl Play is also available to buy - click here to learn more!

Bottom line: Please support this extraordinary, moving, and heartbreaking documentary. The more people who stand behind work like this means a better life  one day soon for farmed animals everywhere.  

Thanks to Matt Rice, Rocco Chierichella, and the team at Mercy For Animals for their life-changing documentary and vital work in the animal advocacy community. All quotes above are taken from Fowl Play. To learn more, please visit:


Heather said…
Bravo for posting about this. I am surprised how many people are either not aware of what is going on with the egg laying hens of America - or just do not WANT to be aware of their plight. Just the other day a friend of mine posted an article on FB about the ills of Diary Products and I was amazed to see how many people (even after reading the article) had the - EVERYTHING CAN be bad so why change anything - type of attitude. But reading about how bad dairy products are for you is one thing. Seeing what they do to cows, chickens, pigs and other farm animals to make the foods America eats and takes for granted possible - - that is an entirely different ball game.

I have this film on my NetFlix queue now.

What is done to the egg laying chickens, the babies, their life is so tragic - It breaks my heart. Furthermore, it is all so unnecessary - it's simply due to supply and demand - and the ones demanding not wanting to know how it gets from egg to plate.
Molly G said…

What a great post. All I could think the whole time I was reading it was that I need to bring my family to a farm animal sanctuary. How can they be expected to know the truth if I don't try to tell them. Yes, I am aware of how unpopular this will make me, but isn't it my responsibility to the animals? Every day I wait is another death. That's the truth. They should have to face that. I couldn't, that's why I'm vegan.

Lacey said…
I just ordered this. Can't wait to watch & share with my friends & family. Thank you for this post.
Myra Wolf said…
Bravo for you telling the story on Lindsay's blog and Bravo to Merci for Animals for telling the truth. Great job! xoxo
CurlyLocks said…
I hope many, many people read and watch this blog...very effective. Well-done, Steve. I think many people have a convenient disconnect with what is actually in the American food industry/ factory farm industry. Thank goodness for organizations like Mercy for Animals and the farm sanctuaries.
Woot Woot !!! Fist pound, High 5 up, down, and around the back...oh Yeah
Penny said…
Hey Lindsay! Love the blog :) -Candy Penny
rrrina said…
** Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos Formed **
Karen Davis, of United Poultry Concerns, several others, and I have formed a coalition of concerned groups and individuals to encourage the use of money, instead of chickens, in the ritual of Kaporos (also spelled Kapparot and Kappores).

For information on the practice and why we oppose it, please see our web site:
There, you will also find details of our upcoming rally on September 12th in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

Please watch our video of the handling of the chickens and sign our petition:

We hope to see you all at our demo on Sunday, September 12th, 2010, in front of 792 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, NY, from 12 Noon to 3PM.

Thank you for your compassion,

Rina Deych, RN
Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos