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Activism

Step Inside the Cage of a Factory Farmed Egg-Laying Hen with AnimalVisuals.org

Web developer Mark Middleton created AnimalVisuals.org to help expose the conditions animals face in factory farms through interactive, illustrated recreations from the animal’s perspective.

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AnimalVisuals has only one “virtual environment” so far: the egg-laying hen’s battery cage. Complete with a sountrack recorded inside an actual factory farm, viewers are invited to read factual information about the intensive confinement at the bottom of the screen.

The Virtual Battery Cage puts the viewer in the place of the bird in hopes that the person will be able to empethize with the animal. The scenery is grim, the cage is ridiculously small, and the sound is overbearing.

Last year, I had the opportunity to visit a factory farm much like the one depicted on Middleton’s site. I can tell you that this simulation is accurate in many ways, but you’re going to miss out on one important aspect: the stench.

Outside the building, there was a pile of manure at least 10 feet high. If you’re not able to empathize with the plight of a chicken, please at least take into consideration the impact that the factory farming of chickens and other animals has on the environment.




One comment
  1. Sharon McEachern

    Who wants to eat eggs from miserable hens? Remember the research from the University of Calif.-Davis a few years ago? Studies showed that eggs from stressed chickens are bad for human health — higher cholesteral and full of stress hormones. But hey, thanks to Californians we will have happier, less-stressed hens. Well, they’ll be less stressed come January 1, 2015. That’s when the proposition becomes law.

    But it will be all new chickens who get the benefits, not the chickens laying eggs now under miserable conditions. Typically the chickens are sent to a tallow plant (where animal fat is collected for making candles, soap and lubricants) or ground into animal feed.

    The Ethic soup blog has a good article on the controversial caged-chicken ban in California at:

    http://www.ethicsoup.com/2008/11/controversial-caged-chicken-ban-passed-by-landslide-in-california.html

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