Author: William Kotzwinkle
Note: This is a book I take in small parts. It is a sad portrayal of mankind's inhumanity towards other species in the pursuit of "science". While I do rec'd it, the book is graphic in describing the very real scientific experiments and the very real way humans treat nonhumans. This excerpt describes the life of 98% of all hens (according to the United Egg Producers) raised for egg production - they live in wire cages, crowded in windowless sheds all so people can buy a cheap dozen.
We live in eternal day. It makes us lay more. We live on wire flooring so that our excrement will fall through on the constantly turning belt below, which carries it away. Our beaks have been cut off. And we're cancerous. They call us egg machines.
We're the best egg machines in the world. Twenty-seven thousand of us sit here, our only exercise the laying of an egg, which rolls away from us, down a little chute.
I remember how wonderful it was to peck my way through the shell and step out in the warm bright dawn of life.
I have seen no other sunrise. We live in eternal noontime. My birth was a grievous mistake. And yet an egg is developing in me, as always. I can't stop it. I feel its growth, and despite all my bitterness, tiny surges of tenderness fill me. How I wish I could stop these eggs from growing so that I wouldn't have to know these tender feelings. But I can't stop. I'm an egg machine, the best egg machine in the world.