Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Swiss Chickens Sue the Swiss Federal Government for Genocide

George Orwell would love to have watched proceedings in the Swiss Parliament when the latest bill on animal rights was being discussed. Switzerland has one of the most stringent animal rights laws in the world. Under the Swiss constitution, the protection of the "dignity" of plant life is upheld and animal rights have been established under a law passed last year for creatures such as goldfish and canaries. Pigs, budgies and other social creatures cannot be kept alone; horses and cows must be regularly exercised outside their stalls and dog owners are required to take a training course to learn how to properly care for their pets.
Given the vibrant discussions on this subject, the Association of Pro-Life Poultry (APLP) has taken the Swiss government to court to seek reparations for persistent genocide over the centuries and for a perpetual injunction to stop the killing and let their members live to old age and die naturally. They had waited patiently to see the outcome of the referendum that was to provide human lawyers to defend animal right cases. They had hoped that if the vote had been favourable they would have engaged a top Swiss lawyer at no cost to prosecute their case against the Swiss state for hypocrisy and blatant discrimination. APLP members had complained that even gold fish had better rights that they have. Unfortunately for them, the voters failed them as they overwhelmingly voted against the bill. The canton of Zurich has had its own animal lawyer since 1992. The Animal rights lawyer has had clients ranging from dogs, cats, guinea pigs, farm animals and, recently, to even a large pike. He argued "It took 10 minutes of struggle to reel the pike in before killing it. I regard that as cruelty. If someone had done that to a puppy, there would have been outrage," He further went on say, "People accused of animal cruelty very often hire lawyers to defend themselves. Why shouldn't someone speak for the animal as well? It's about fairness and defending a minority."
This is precisely the point for the APLP members. If the rights to comfort are being guaranteed by the state for some animals and even fish, surely chickens should have a right to life. They too would like to live to a ripe old age and die a natural death as pets do. The Swiss have cleverly made cases for “social animals” a group to which dogs, cats, budgerigars, gold fish have been put. APLP is calling up top ethologists and veterinary psychologists to prove that chickens are more sociable than dogs and cats. They question why they are singled out for annihilation, generation after generation. Why should the only beauty humans see in chickens be the tenderness of their flesh for food?
If human beings are so concerned about cruelty to their peers, they ought to have a bigger concern for the systematic murder generation after generation of their progenitors had suffered. They are deeply saddened by the fact that the clock has been turned back to Orwellian times when all animals were equal but some were more equal.