The animal sanctuary I work with recently became home to several hens and turkeys who were rescued from the factory farming industry. Nina has been waiting weeks to meet the flock, but they’ve been in quarantine, a necessary precaution as they settle into their new home. Nina understands all of this, but that didn’t stop her from asking me approximately two hundred times a day, “When can I hold Daisy?”
This question has recently been replaced by several others, out of concern that Daisy won’t be able to eat. Every single one of these birds has been debeaked, something Nina noticed almost right away from their photographs. There were questions, and tears, and discussions. Tears turned to outrage, and discussions turned towards solutions. Nina took it upon herself to inform her entire class — in the first week back at school(!) — about debeaking. She hatched a plan to teach Daisy how to use a straw, such was her concern over this tiny bird’s ability to eat and drink.
Over the weekend Nina and I went out to the sanctuary to meet everyone, feed them snacks, give them hugs, and set Nina’s mind at ease. I see this becoming a weekly event, and I’m ever so thankful that this opportunity to educate through animal kindness is just a short drive from our home.