If it were not for my chickens, I doubt I would have a majority plant based diet, and I know it would be impossible for my kids to embrace this lifestyle as well. They now have a compassion for not just domesticated animals but all animals, and have learned there is no difference between a cat or a chicken or a dog or a cow, none at all.
Several years back when we were living in the city and my whole yard was a garden, we decided to "get chickens". Actually our now matriarch momma Rose, stole the heart of my youngest son, and I could not say no. The boys all picked out a bird and we went home that day with 4 new additions to the family. We built them a coop, and allowed them free run of the back yard. They were the Golden Girls, Rose, Dorothy, Blanche, and Sophia. Little did we know then that they were perfectly named. Dorothy took the lead, she was almost rooster like, Blanche was so loud and never shy, Sophia was mean as sin, still is (she sleeps alone on a bar in one half of the coop and all the other girls share the other side!) and then there is Rose, sweet little rose. My sons love their birds! They became know as our "parrots" around the neighborhood, as chickens were not allowed. We had to tell the neighbors because Blanche was so loud!! We enjoyed watching them scratch, run and chase bugs, we enjoyed watching them sand bath, something I had never experienced until I went into the back yard one morning to find them sprawled around wings out, eyes closed covered in dirt in a hole! I thought they were all dead! We saw that they were wonderful, intelligent, animals. We didn't know how incredible they were until one day knowing we could no longer keep them, we had to find a farm for them to live on. I contacted people that I knew, and was told the birds would be welcomed. When we went out to the farm my heart dropped when I saw that the birds on that farm were kept pinned up. W e held our girls and placed them in a pin with at least 50 other birds and watched them get pecked and bullied. The farmer told me that it was normal and that it would stop. Not wanting to cry in front of complete strangers, I took one last look at the girls, Dorothy already bleeding at the ear, had taken refuge in the coop, and I ran like a baby to the van. When my husband got in the car I asked again if he was sure there was no other option. He assured me there wasn't. Then we drove away. I didn't sleep a wink that night. Got up the next morning and told my husband I want the birds back, we would find another way! The kids were upset and wanted the birds back as well. My husband called the farmer and got permission to pick up the birds. When we arrived all 4 girls were perched huddled together inside the coop. All four together. Changed my heart, we grabbed the girls and Dorothy held herself tight against my son. Dorothy's wounds healed and our hearts changed. Since we cant have a dog since we let our birds free range, and dogs being meat eaters would need some sort of animals in there food, we have gotten more chickens, some for myself and my girls as well. They are our pets! We get the added benefit of eggs, mostly used in baking, and honestly I give more away than we eat, but we are thankful for the gift from them!
Why I eat eggs