ISLINGTON AND HACKNEY VEGAN FAMILIES
London based group for vegan parents, vegan children, vegan babies and vegan pregnant people
We meet to socialise and are planning a campaign to stop chick hatching in local schools. See below for a letter written by Ruth.
CAMPAIGN: STOP HATCHING PROJECTS IN HACKNEY SCHOOLS
Chickens are amazing, and it’s wonderful to teach children about them.
Chickens have their own language with over 30 different sounds used to communicate. Baby chicks can develop object permanence as young as 2 days old - an understanding that when an object is hidden, it still exists – thought it takes a human baby about 7 months.
Chickens experience REM sleep and dream just like we do. Research suggests that chickens are cleverer than toddlers. Hens have exhibited mathematical reasoning, self-control and even structural engineering. Mother hens teach their chicks what is safe to eat and what to avoid. Chickens love their families, have complex social bonds, and value their lives, yet when used as classroom teaching tools, they’re denied everything that’s natural and important to them. The chicks deserve a better start to life than an incubator in a school.
“It is difficult to guarantee the welfare of animals bred in the school environment and we believe that such programmes of study do not promote responsible attitudes to animal care and husbandry.”
“The RSPCA strongly discourages the keeping of animals in schools. Schools can be noisy and frightening places for some animals and it is very difficult to look after any animal’s needs properly in a classroom environment. Any members of the school's staff who are responsible for an animal or animals being on the school premises - whether on a permanent or temporary basis - are now subject, as a result of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, to the legal obligation to ensure that those animals' needs are met.”
You can read the RSPCA’s guide to animal friendly schools here.
The needs of chicks cannot be properly met in an incubator:
need for a suitable environment – they are not kept with their mother, it will be noisy and bright.
need for a suitable diet (food and freshwater) – these cannot be checked overnight and at weekends.
need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns – their mother is not with them. Mother hens talk to their