LARGE-SCALE LIVESTOCK FARMING: What Have You Done For The World Today?

This series NON-HUMANS, HUMANS, CLIMATE, MACHINES views large-scale livestock farming as an area primarily related to ethics and animal rights, but at the same time draws attention to the fact that large-scale farming is a capitalist mechanism, and is the result of economic and power-related interests and pressures that allow and normalize slaughter on a large-scale. The texts try to identify a network of actors, agents and relationships that are involved in large-scale farming and present them as a complex problem.

The series is published in parallel with the ongoing campaign All Farm Animals Deserve to Roam Free. We call to end this inhumane practice by banning all cages for farmed animals. Cages are cruel.

What have you done for the world today?

About the first rescue

The first rescue was that we packed 90 chickens into boxes in my car and drove to South Moravia, where we gave them away. You can’t imagine the condition of a car like that after five hours, but there was no other way, we had nothing else and 90 chickens found a home that way.

We’re such punks. We don’t have any proper structure, nothing. We just have about 10 people who always mobilise three times a year to deliver chickens. We don’t get together very much, like once a year. Otherwise, we communicate via e-mail because we’re all from different places. One is a kindergarten director, one works in a law firm, I have a business, one has four small children, so it’s very difficult to juggle. We’re working with a wholesale farm that allows us to buy three times a year. Then those are the fixed dates for us when we deliver the hens. Most of the time, the breeders will announce these purchases and you have to take them right away. But here they have allowed us to go every day, because we can only put 200 hens in that van, we can’t get any more in there, it wouldn’t be good conditions for them. So we deliver for five days, sometimes more. And at the same time we encourage people to buy their own hens from the farms. We’ve got a girl, she’s absolutely brilliant, she’s always going through the websites of the breeders and seeing when they’re going to sell and putting it on Facebook. She’s living it, she’s enjoying the fact that it’s making a difference.

We take turns in the car, mostly our youngster – my son – drives, because I’m so tired of driving. And he enjoys it, so he’ll get a chauffeur, a friend, and off they go. And sometimes I drive. And my wife scolds me because she always feels like she smells like a chicken when she gets out of the car.

We’ve got sophisticated software, people are logged in, we plan routes, people click where they want to pass the chickens… it’s almost like a military operation. We always have recipients. We also have a form that people sign when they pick up their chickens that they’ll take care of them and under what conditions. But then, unfortunately, nobody can check. But the people are usually great. I’m pleased that the people who adopt the hens are mostly first-time breeders, so our network is growing. When you go to a parking lot, for example, where you have a meet and greet for a handover, how many times a mom and dad come in with their kids, you can see that it’s an event for them. That’s very nice. I ask them if they have names for the chickens yet, now you’re going to have a family member crying….

Sign petition HERE!

The interview with Petr Dobrý entitled What Have You Done For The World Today? is unluckily not available in English version.