Published Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Machipongo, Va.: Chickens socialize successfully with a variety of other species and form bonds of interspecies affection and communication, but they are
not failed or inferior humans (“Chickens: Smarter than a four-year-old,” Aug. 16). If chickens or any other adult animals thought and acted
like toddlers or even teenagers, the species would not survive. An adult chicken raising her chicks does not think like a child, but like a mother hen
— in which respect there is continuity between her and all other attentive and doting mothers of all species. We need to suppress our impulse to
patronize the rest of the living world as inferior to ourselves, and to stop torturing and murdering them to find out what is inside their heads. Other
animals are not lesser beings, and chickens are neither voiceless nor stupid. Let us learn to respect other animals by perceiving them justly, and teach
others to do the same.
Karen Davis, president, United Poultry Concerns
Oak Park, Ill.: Most people think of birds as dumb animals, and they don’t realize how much suffering they experience on factory farms. If we want to
be a society that treats animals humanely, we have to apply those standards to all sentient beings, not only family pets.
Sujatha Ramakrishna, M.D.
New York Daily News Opinion Page 2
For more thoughts on cross-species comparisons, see:
Are Chickens Smarter Than Toddlers? 19 August 2013