We rushed to the gate, heads brimming with all possibilities, but we could never have expected anything as precious as what awaited. Four cardboard boxes had been ruggedly, yet lovingly, stuck together and air holes carved in the top, with a note reading “Friends not food. Please save us!” Inside sat Betany and her eight siblings.
Whilst it’s a mystery where Betany and her siblings came from, their plight and desperate need for help was painfully obvious. At around five days old, these babies were already growing faster than their downy feathers could cover and their internal organs could manage.
If you were to trace back to Betany’s ancestors, you would discover the jungle fowl who still roam the wilderness of South-East Asia. These regal birds are truly something to behold—roosters are adorned with striking technicolour feathers with a rich, iridescent glow. They can fly to the treetops in bamboo forests and watch their predators scurry by on foot.
Broiler chickens (those birds specially bred for consumption) have been whitewashed into uniformity, but they’re far from uniform where it matters. The bold and glossy regalia intended to be proudly worn by these birds have been bleached white, as to not offend diners with the tiny dart feathers that would otherwise be visible beneath their skin. Along with our friend Cyndi Lauper, we see their true colours shining through, and it’s clear to see they’re beautiful like rainbows. And when we choose to be kind to the animals who rely on us to survive, we too are truly beautiful.