Gerri on her day of rescue.
Saving Gerri was, hands down, the most humbling and inspiring thing I’ve ever done in my life.
And even as a long-term vegetarian (now vegan activist), I had no idea how intelligent and kind natured chickens could be.
The day we rescued Gerri was the day she was destined for the slaughterhouse. Her days as a commercial laying hen were over and the next step in the process was for her “to be finished” – an industry term that means: killed and sold to the public as meat!
Luckily for Gerri, and the other 200+ chickens with her that day, they were given a second chance and were re-homed.
Gerri’s life was brutal from the very beginning, and even years later I have trouble processing what had intentionally been done to her. The photo shown here is of Gerri on the day she was rescued. Until this time, she had never seen daylight, her wings and beak had been clipped and she had been laying eggs at the unnatural rate of approx. 340 eggs a year in caged isolation. This is a sad fact-of-life for chickens that is a well-kept secret from consumers.
Much of the language used to describe how animals are treated in factory farms is chosen to mislead the public and paint a picture that makes the whole process acceptable. Make no mistake, the words and images are carefully chosen. Words like, “welfare” are used to mask what is actually just varying degrees of deprivation and cruelty. The images of happy, healthy chickens we often see on egg boxes are a misrepresentation of the conditions in which chickens live. And this include eggs sold as “free-range” and “organic” which may be the most misleading of all.
But lately attitudes have been shifting. Thanks to many main-stream documentaries and under-cover videos on social media and elsewhere, more and more people are beginning to see what is going on. Every day the conditions that all animals endure on factory farms is being exposed and talked about and the truth is getting harder to hide.
Gerri gettin’ in to the cream cheeze!
So… a little more about Gerri. She is as hilarious as she is bold and brave. From her very first day with us, she has taken everything in stride. (Here she is, covered in vegan cream cheese after sharing a bagel with me!) Just look at her little face!
When we first rescued Gerri she was not going to be a house chicken. She is one today because that is what she wanted. Daily she would peck at our door asking to come inside and before we knew it, she was spending most of her day in the house with us. She does venture outside to sleep in her house, or at the bottom of the garden, and for the occasional stroll around the property.
Like many animals who are given the chance to live in a loving and nurturing environment, Gerri knows her name and she will come running to you when called. She also likes to hang out with her cat and dog siblings and enjoys napping in the dog bed.
Gerri and her canine siblings.
Also, like everyone, Gerri is an individual with personal likes and dislikes and that extends to her food preferences. Her favourite food is mashed potato, but her preferences can change depending on her mood. Of course, she has her organic corn and pellets, but she is also partial to hummus, tomatoes, blueberries, cashew nuts, jackfruit, but not yellow peppers… she can’t stand them and will spit them out!
Gerri is my daughter, and my best friend, and I really do love her very much! She is a huge part of our family and loved completely and equally alongside the other animals (and humans!) She’s very expressive, funny and will fuss around you for attention just like the dogs do.
Gerri scoping out her sleeping arrangements.
In fact, I haven’t met anyone that hasn’t been blown away with how clever and sweet natured Gerri is – and I truly believe that all chickens have this potential, if they are only given the chance.
Gerri inspires me every day and I’m honoured to share a little more about her life and her story as well as shedding a little light on the commercial egg industry that exploits these beautiful animals.
I would encourage everyone to consider giving up eggs and going vegan. And, if your situation is right for it, rescuing an ex-commercial laying hen. You can also make a difference by donating to the various chicken rescue organisations. As individuals we can each a make huge difference.
As for Gerri, her confidence and character grows daily and I hope that her story inspires people to see what wonderful friends and family members chickens can be!
For more images and videos etc. head to: Georgia Rae Laidlaw Brown.
To learn about the true lives of the billions of hens condemned to lay in commercial, egg farms around the globe, please visit: Egg-Truth
Georgia Rae Laidlaw Brown has been vegan for 3 years and is a trained Broadcast Journalist and PR Professional. She is vegan for the animals, but also for the environment, her health and future generations.