On November 27th, 2006, animal rights group "Love Thy
Neighbour" rescued twelve hens from a research facility outside
Uppsala. The group consists of Klaus Engell-Nielsen, 38, student
advisor; Annika Spalde, 37, deacon at the Church of Sweden; and Pelle
Strindlund, 35, writer. (Further reading at
[Swedish text only]).
Below the three members give their insights about the action.
In the early hours of November 27th we drove to
Funbo-Lövsta, a research facility which is part of Sweden’s
agricultural university, just outside of Uppsala. This is where the egg
industry experiments on hens.
We carefully placed twelve hens into paper boxes. We drove them a number of kilometres to a family living in the countryside. The hens will be well cared for. They will have the opportunity to live good lives on their own terms: to scratch the ground, poke for food, rest in the sun. They are no longer locked up with a lot of other hens but live in a small community, which is crucial to hens.
In their new home, the hens will be regarded as individuals, not research objects. Each one of them will be able to live her entire natural lifespan.
Before leaving the building from which we liberated the hens, we left a Christmas plant as a gift to the staff. We also mailed a letter which stated who we are and our reasons for removing the hens. We listed our addresses and phone numbers. We have nothing against the researchers as individuals.
The local police are investigating the rescue action. The agricultural university are arguing that the liberation of the twelve hens interfered with their experiments, and that they risk losing huge sums of money due to the action.
We look forward to the trial!
We look forward to publicly question the egg industry and challenge those who consider hens to be mere resources for the benefit of humans. All production of eggs, including the organic, means that sentient beings are killed. Half of the chicks hatched within the egg industry are roosters. Since they will never lay eggs, they are considered useless to the industry. Each day in Sweden thousands of rooster chicks are thrown into mills that mince them alive.
Hens are never allowed to live out their entire lives. As soon as the hen no longer lays the expected number of eggs, she is killed.
"How can the hens live better lives?" This is a question
which politicians and researchers sometimes discuss. Should we make the
cages larger? Should we give them a perch to sit on? They are asking the
wrong question; the oppression should not be reformed, but instead
abolished. The question is rather why so many people believe our
species has the right to use other sentient beings as merchandise.
Our superior intelligence is often used as an argument for taking advantage of animals. This argument was already rejected by the ancient philosopher Porphyry—and the three of us are now doing the same. Intelligence is irrelevant in deciding whether someone has the right to live. The ability to think logically is never applied to relations between humans. Today no one argues that smarter people have the right to exploit less intelligent people. So then why should intelligence be given such decisive importance when evaluating other living beings?
Individuals who cannot solve advanced mathematical problems also have a right to life.
Some argue that being carnivorous is part of our cultural heritage. We have been killing and eating animals throughout the centuries. But the fact that an injustice is historical doesn’t provide the excuse to continue with it. When human rights activists during the late 18th century began to question slavery—at this time considered part of an obvious social order—they were accused of attacking an ancient and fine tradition.
That every human has the right to live for his or her own sake is a new insight, seen through a historical perspective. Now the time has come for the next step: to admit that hens and other animals have the right to exist for their own sake.
The good news is that each one of us can contribute to this positive social development. We can do this by not eating eggs or other animal products. To become vegetarian means accepting one’s individual responsibility to finally bring to an end humanity’s ancient oppression of animals.
The Rescue Service
Oct 21, 2007
20 hens rescued
Nov 27, 2006
12 hens rescued
May 2, 2004
120 hens rescued
April 5, 2004
39 hens rescued
April 27, 2003
April 14, 2003
102 hens rescued
October 11, 2002
0 hens rescued
August 12, 2002
17 hens rescued
June 2, 2002
38 hens rescued
April 14, 2002
12 hens rescued
March 27, 2002
16 hens rescued
March 17, 2002
21 rabbits rescued
Aug. 5, 2001
Feb. 21, 2001
6 hens rescued
Dec. 14, 2000
3 hens rescued
Maj 7, 2000
36 hens rescued
Feb. 15, 2000
5 hens rescued
Oct. 28, 1999
24 hens rescued