This morning as my daughter and I were driving to school, a truck transporting chickens pulled up on the passenger side. The open metal crates were cold in the freezing weather. The little cages were just tall enough to allow a chicken to snugly fit inside if they did not stand.
My daughter was transfixed by them. She and I became vegetarians nearly a year ago and scenes like this underscore the ethics behind our decision. She looked up and saw the feet of one chicken pointed toward her. “That one looks dead,” she said.
“They’re probably cold.”
“That’s sad — don’t talk about it,” she said.
Suffering always makes me sad, regardless of who or what is experiencing it. Tears welled up in my eyes. “They can’t stand up.”
She looked at me, then back to the chickens. Silence. Then, “Take a picture.” I couldn’t imagine why she wanted a picture. My phone was not on, so she didn’t have time to turn it on for a picture anyway. She just stared at them until we pulled away.