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Editor’s Corner Guest Essay:The Rescue of Kukkuta and the Rooster DilemmaBy Hope BohanecOn the Saturday before Easter I got a call from a friend who was worried about an injured rooster in the Walgreens parking lot about five minutes from my house. A feral population of roosters and hens have made their home in the fields of tall grass and parking lots around Peet’s Coffee and Walgreens in Cotati, California. (It’s the same area where I recently rescued a mama hen and her six newborn chicks and took them to a local farmed animal sanctuary.) The chickens have become a novelty around there. Peet’s puts out water for them and people come just to hang out with the colorful birds, feeding them bits of scone and taking their pictures. But the population is growing, and more and more roosters are being dumped there.I drove out to see what was going on and saw that there was a police car parked outside the Walgreens. I asked the officer if she was there because of the rooster; she said yes, that Walgreens had called the Cotati police concerned about him. Apparently a larger rooster had been bullying him for hours. We found him lying on the ground in the middle of a parking space, with blood splattered around him on the pavement. The triumphant rooster was pacing back and forth, hovering over him on the curb. We shooed away the tormentor and had a look at the poor guy. He was frozen in shock. His face, head, neck, and comb were covered in murky blood, and his left eye was swollen shut with fresh blood dripping out of it.I asked what she was going to do; she didn't know. I sat next to the pitiful little guy and was able to put him in my lap and get a good look. He had a lot of blood on him, but the only injury I could find was to his eye; I couldn’t find any wound on his body or neck or comb. I told her there was a good chance he could recover, but she said they would probably "put him down," as no one would want to drive him all the way up to Animal Control on Easter weekend. He would likely be euthanized at Animal Control anyway, so I ended up with a rooster in my car. I knew he would be my responsibility. I had just tried to help someone find a home for a rooster a few weeks before; no sanctuary in the area could take a rooster, but there was no other choice. So his life was in my hands.For seven days he didn’t move. We put him on soft towels in an animal carrying crate and he just sat, frozen. The poor soul was so traumatized. He was not interested in food or water; we tried to entice him with blueberries, pasta, apples, rice, bananas; nothing worked. His eye was so swollen that it was the size of a marble, and the blood had dried stiff and black all over his head. I got some antibiotic cream and applied it twice a day. A few times, I took him out of the crate and set him in the sun for a while, trying to enliven him, but he would just sit, motionless and listless. Every morning I ran to the crate to check on him, so afraid that he might have died during the night. We named him Kukkuta (which means “rooster” in Sanskrit).The Tragedy of Unwanted RoostersKukkuta needed to be rescued because people eat eggs. You don’t see the connection? Let me lay it out for you. As a result of the tireless work of animal advocacy organizations like United Poultry Concerns, there’s a growing awareness that hens suffer greatly in the egg industry. In Sonoma County, people have bought into the “farm to table” ethos and want a more natural and “humane” experience. The area is largely wealthy; people not only in rural areas, but in suburbs and neighborhoods near downtown, are buying chicks from feed stores and off Craigslist and raising their own chickens for eggs.This may seem like a positive trend, but there is a hidden hindrance: for every hen born, so is a rooster. Roosters are unwanted because, of course, they don’t lay eggs. They also crow--loudly--so they aren’t welcome, or even legal to keep, in many neighborhoods. Most areas of Sonoma County will allow up to 12 hens, but no roosters. Because they are worthless to the egg industry, male chicks are killed just hours after emerging from their shells in the hatcheries. They are thrown away alive by the billions, dumped into huge trash bins to suffocate on the weight of their brothers, to die slowly of dehydration or freezing to death. Many are ground up alive in maceration machines where sharp blades like huge blenders chop up their tiny bodies for fertilizer, pet food and other products.Because determining the sex of a baby chick is not an exact science, often males are shipped to feed stores and sold as hens. A backyard “enthusiast” discovers that one of her “hens” is a male; she “gets rid” of him. But it’s increasingly difficult to find homes for roosters, and overwhelmed animal shelters end up euthanizing most of them. Other roosters get dumped on the side of the road. This is what’s happening in Cotati at Peet’s Coffee. People see chickens there, so they dump their unwanted rooster thinking he will be fine, but that’s not necessarily the case. Roosters are territorial, and as the numbers increase, the newcomer may have to face a bird defending his territory; he may be injured, stressed or even killed. My guess is that this is what happened to our sweet rooster.Kukkuta’s Road to RecoverySlowly the swelling of Kukkuta’s eye subsided and on the seventh day of being a guest in our small backyard, he stood up, walked out of the crate, and started drinking some water. We were thrilled! He dunked his head under the water again and again, washing the crusted blood off his face and comb. The next morning we heard him crow for the first time--a joyful sound! a robust celebration of life! He has been a perfect gentleman, never pecking when I reach for him or kicking when I pick him up. He is a gentle soul.At first, unsure of his rescuers’ intent, he needed to keep about a four foot radius around us. But now he comes right up, following us around the yard and crowing when we go inside because he misses us. He will come right up to the sliding glass door on the deck and hang out, peering in, waiting for our attention. He talks to us with sweet clucks, bocks, and coos of affection and gratitude when we give him food. We are certain that he fully regained his sight, because his depth perception is fine. He can go up and down stairs, hop up on logs, and the like. He's doing great! He is so full of life, busy all day, and loves to interact with us. We are mesmerized watching him.A New Level of LoveHaving been vegan for twenty-eight years, I have long respected chickens’ lives, but I had never lived with a chicken. Kukkuta has awakened something incredibly special in me. I love him so much, and while I had a strong vegan philosophy before, now more than ever I simply can’t imagine anyone purposely killing a sentient individual like Kukkuta. It’s a different level of unimaginable now. Everything in me wants to protect him and keep him alive. This is a love I wish everyone could experience, for you can never again think of harming an animal after knowing this kind of love and compassion.My husband and I unfortunately can’t keep Kukkuta because we rent our small duplex. A vegan activist friend who lives out on Cobb Mountain has agreed to adopt him and--needless to say-- we are overjoyed that he will be “staying in the family” by going to a vegan home. She has an acre of land and three rescued hens, but no rooster. When she saw my post on Facebook, she and her partner had already been talking about rescuing a rooster to be with their hens. They are setting up and securing a space for him. We are going to miss him so much and we’ve already cried a few times this week thinking about him leaving. But we’re glad he is going to a home with other chickens because he needs friends of the same feather.This whole experience has enriched my life, strengthened my understanding of veganism, deepened my commitment to protecting chickens; most of all, it has given me, in Kukkuta, a friend I will never forget.Hope Bohanec is the Projects Manager for United Poultry Concerns and the author of The Ultimate Betrayal: Is There Happy Meat?.CorrectionSusan Clay, who sent the picture of the elephant giving a lion cub a ride featured in the May PT, writes to share her subsequent discovery that the picture is a result of photoshopping, and does not reflect a genuine event. She apologizes for the deception. We have removed the picture and caption from our archives.Unset Gems“If a man like Eichmann is sane, we need to ask ourselves if sanity has come to mean merely the capacity to live successfully in society, no matter how toxic. In that case, God bless the mad. . . . . Sanity is to play it safe; sanctity is dangerous,”--Jim Forest, in Loving Our Enemies: Reflections on the Hardest Commandment.“The walls we build on earth do not reach to heaven.”--Philaret of Moscow (pictured)NewsNotesBeyond Burgers Going InternationalBeyond Meat is partnering with distributors to sell its vegan “Beyond Burger” in fifty countries, including Australia, Mexico, Israel, Taiwan, Korea, and South Africa. This is the product that not only tastes like flesh-based hamburgers but starts out red, “bleeds” slightly thanks to a beet ingredient, and browns when cooked. See Choose Veg--Contributed by MFADiscontinuance of Animal Use in Chattanooga SchoolThanks to the urging of members of PCRM, the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, Chattanooga has ended the use of pigs for training future doctors in emergency medicine. See Pigs Out of School--Contributed by PCRMCockfighting Bust in MassachusettsThe Boston Globe reported that almost 400 roosters in training for fighting were confiscated on a 58-acre farm near Northampton. Cockfighting, an extremely cruel “sport” in which the birds’ feet are equipped with knifelike spurts, has been banned in Massachusetts since 1836. See RaidReview: BurgerCarol J. Adams. Burger. New York and London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018. 174 pp. $14.95 softcover.The hamburger is undoubtedly the iconic American food, like spaghetti in Italy and curry in India. Not necessarily ground beef as such; that can be English and called Salisbury steak. But ground beef sizzled as a patty, put between two halves of a bun along with onion, lettuce, pickle, mustard or ketchup, perhaps cheese--that's what Americans eat at ball games, on picnics, high school dates, whenever one is in a hurry trying to get from one place to another and needs to "grab a bite." It's quick, inexpensive, accessible at fast food outlets everywhere, can be eaten in the car, and we have a taste for it. In contrast, Americans tend to feel there must be something decadent about the long, leisurely meals favored in certain hamburger-free cultures, if there are any left. Even the hot dog is in second place to the hamburger. And here, in the Object Lessons series of books, is Carol Adams' latest work, on the hamburger's story, past, present, and perhaps very different future.It's not a story without mysteries, beginning with the hamburger's name. For there seems no question but that it originated in the U.S., its “eternal homeland,” sometime in the late nineteenth century, and has little more to do with Hamburg than with ham. But whether it was created by immigrants who embarked at the great German port city, or sailors therefrom, or even from a county fair in Hamburg, New York, or from Texas or somewhere else, is unknown.Hamburgers depend on another immigrant class too: cows. Introduced as early as Columbus' second journey to the New World, cows eventually became a major source of meat in those territories, thanks in no small part to the hamburger. Adams gives us that account, from early ranching to barbed wire. (I regret to say that a nineteenth-century relative of mine, Isaac Ellwood, had a major part in its development and sale in the old West as partner to the patent-holder Adams mentions, Joseph Glidden). The grim narrative continues with the highly disturbing process of the feeding, shipment, slaughter, and dismemberment of "hamburger on the hoof."Going on from there, we are presented with the stories of the main well-known hamburger outlets, Burger King, White Castle, Carl's, and of course the lord of them all, the realm of the golden arches, MacDonald's. We also gain information that will be familiar to many readers of The Peaceable Table on the devastating economic, ecological, and health consequences of all those patties and the countless cows behind them, and in them.Where then do we go next? Many readers may find Adams final three major chapters, on meatless burgers and "clean meat" burgers, of greatest interest. We learn about how veggie burgers, or whatever they were called in particular instances, first emerged as croquets of nuts, soy and other plant ingredients in the late nineteenth century and into the mid-twentieth. They were often the creation of Seventh-Day Adventists and other vegetarians then widely regarded as "wacko," but they set the no-bull ball rolling until it was picked up by sectors of the famous sixties counterculture, and the ball drifted out more and more into the mainstream. However, the meatless burger still cannot truly be considered mainstream so long as meathouse fast food outlets dot the roadside everywhere. But brands like Gardein, Gardenburger, Impossible Foods, or Beyond Meat and its Beast Burger, have convinced not a few gourmet food critics that these burgers can equal or even excel the cow product in taste and texture.As biochemist Pat Brown of Impossible Foods wrote, "People love meat, but does it have to be from animals? And if it isn't from animals, wouldn't they be just as happy?" For in the past, "every single burger happened to be made from a cow but the cow is never going to get any better at making meat--too much wastage. It was not optimized for beef. It did not evolve to be eaten." (cited by Adams p. 112) But if you're making it yourself from the original plant ingredients, instead of letting the cow do that part of the work for you--i.e., eliminating the “middle-cow,”--you can twist it, turn it, add to it, until you have something even better, perhaps much better, than the bovine's unwilling offering.Then, also coming down the road and into the future, is something else: "clean meat," the name increasingly given meat which is real flesh, but cloned in the laboratory from just a few cells harmlessly extracted from the animal. So far this product is not cost effective enough to be competitively-priced with supermarket or fast food flesh, but many scientists working on it are convinced it's getting better and better, and the day will come. . .While vegetarian purists may not personally wish to consume lab meat, all must agree that so long as people are going to devour steaks and burgers, it's far, far better to have it in a form which abolishes all the animal suffering and environmental damage pervading now.So a future is coming, and like all futures it will not be like the past. How soon meatless, or clean meat, burgers will rule the world is hard to say. As Adams points out, money is as so often a big factor; the companies developing the new products tend to be under-capitalized and badly need substantial investment from far-sighted and good-hearted patrons. It will also depend on something even harder to predict, changing attitudes, particularly among the low-income, hardworking classes who now depend so much on hamburgers and similar fast food to feed their families, and who tend to resent so-called elites they think are trying to tell them how to eat and live. But if clean-meat burgers can underprice the amply-subsidized flesh burger, the working classes will buy it.We who involved in this struggle need both information and sensitivity. As always, Carol Adams, a genuine wise woman, has plenty of both. This little book imparts the word well, and will be treasured by its readers. Highly recommended.-- Robert EllwoodPioneer: Geoffrey Hodson, 1886 - 1983Geoffrey Hodson, Theosophist, Christian thinker, visionary, healer, author, popular speaker, and first president of the Vegetarian Society of New Zealand, was a man of many facets and contributions. We will emphasize his work to promote vegetarianism, while trying to place it the context of his entire life.Hodson was born in Lincolnshire, England, into a loving and reasonably well-off rural family. From an early age he had remarkably powerful perceptions, in a half dreamlike state, of strange fiery or ominous entities, or energies of a more luminous and benign nature in his Anglican parish church. After his confirmation he felt as if surrounded by a sphere of golden light for a period of some three days.Because of family financial reversals Hodson was not able to attend a university; rather, at fifteen he had to enter the business world.At this time he remained a devout Anglican Christian. The landlord of the house in which he lived while working in Liverpool was a convinced atheist, and though still friendly, he challenged Geoffrey with some apparent contradictions in the Bible. The young man was nonplussed, and shared his puzzlement with an older associate, a Quaker, who loaned him a small book by the eminent Theosophist Annie Besant ( see PT 9 ) entitled Esoteric Christianity. The social-activist author of this volume, while by nature deeply devout, had also experienced painful difficulties with the policies and doctrinalism of the traditional church; she held that much in the scriptures and creeds could be understood, like myth in the best sense of the word, as profoundly true on a symbolic or allegorical level while not necessarily scientifically or historically factual. This insight awakened Hodson to a new level of faith in Christianity. It also led him to attend a lecture by Besant and subsequently to join the Theosophical Society (T.S.) in 1912, finding that its world of inner realities and energies corresponded with his own visions and mysterious experiences. In time he would write his own books with titles like Hidden Wisdom in the Holy Bible, The Inner Side of Church Worship, and The Christ Life from Nativity to Ascension, plus similar works on world mythology.It was only two years after Hodson’s entering the T.S. that the terrible First World War engulfed Europe. Having a deep inclination toward compassion and non-violence, he agonizingly held back from entering the British army. But eventually, being appalled by the German invasion of helpless Belgium, sentiments reinforced by a vision of a high spiritual being like the archangel Michael holding out a shining sword, he determined to do so. Hodson eventually became commander of a tank, then a new and secret weapon that did much to enable the final Allied breakthroughs against the enemy in 1918 that resulted in victory and Armistice Day. Geoffrey did well enough commanding his tank under fire to be recommended for the Military Cross. At the same time, he found that his superphysical powers largely receded during the war.Just after the war he married Jane Carter, and realized that after facing the demons of battle he no longer had any interest in the world of commerce. Desiring a vocation more oriented toward service he took employment with the YMCA in the city of Preston. He and his young wife lived in a large old house just outside the city; his visionary gifts returned, and there in a beautiful rural area he began the visions of the angelic and faerie realms for which he was to become well-known. In time he found Theosophical patrons who helped him toward full-time work as a lecturer, writer, and researcher for the Theosophical Society. In the period between the world wars he lived in London, briefly in South Africa, and finally in Australia, but he and Jane spent much time traveling the world teaching and lecturing.Hodson became known as a gifted spiritual healer, but he discouraged publicity about this work. He also became a priest in the Liberal Catholic Church, a small denomination employing liturgies of a traditional Catholic/Anglican type, giving Bible and worship Theosophical interpretation. What Hodson became best known for in those years and after, though, was his visionary observations of the spirits of nature, from angels or devas down to tiny entities. These investigations were reported in some of his best-known books, such as The Brotherhood of Angels and Men and The Kingdom of the Gods, the last beautifully illustrated in color under Geoffrey's direction by Ethelwynne M. Quail, a South African artist and Theosophist.In 1940 Hodson was in New Zealand on a lecture tour, but was unable to leave afterwards, both because of his wife’s seriously deteriorating health (she had multiple sclerosis and was brought from Australia to N.Z. to join him), and the near-impossibility of further wartime travel. They settled in the island nation, where Jane died. Hodson married Sandra Chase, the fellow Theosophist who had devotedly cared for Jane, and here he lived for the rest of his long life.It was in New Zealand that Geoffrey became seriously interested in animal welfare, and increased his commitment to vegetarianism. Avoiding meat had long been encouraged, though not required, by the Theosophical Society, and Hodson had been veg since about 1925. In 1943 he became the first president of the newly-formed New Zealand Vegetarian Society; in 1946 he reported this Society was growing rapidly and now had a membership of 458--not bad perhaps for a country noted for its liberal social values but whose economy depended on the production and export of animals and animal “products.” Hodson was never a vegan; the violence against male infants in both the dairy and egg industries was not generally appreciated in vegetarian circles in his day. One imagines he might have taken that further step had he lived in a later generation, but abstaining from meat alone was a significant gesture in his time and place.Focusing now on his vegetarianism, we may glance at a small pamphlet he published for the New Zealand Vegetarian society about 1950 entitled “The Case for Vegetarianism.” He cites seven reasons for a vegetarian diet: Hygiene, Anatomical (the argument that humans are not designed for carnivorism), Economic, Humanitarian, Altruistic, Aesthetic ("The meat trade is one of the most prolific sources in the world of ugliness, coarseness, brutality. Vegetarianism promotes beauty, refinement, culture. Comparison of the ghastly sights, sounds, and smells of a abattoir with the beauty and fragrance of an orchard, leaves no room for doubt. . ."), and Spiritual ("Life itself is one, there being no break in the basic unity and continuity between man the lower animals. Yet at present, man is by far the greatest enemy the animal has to fear.") The "immutable spiritual law of sowing and reaping, action and reaction, cause and effect, slaughter. . . and further slaughter" is put forward.) The tract ends with the declaration that "To forego flesh food is to free oneself from blood-guilt. The very consciousness of this freedom bestows an added happiness, peace of mind, and spiritual vitality upon those by whom it is attained."He builds his case further in several other writings, but this will be a good note on which to conclude a sketch of this gifted and compassionate person. I hope you will go on to make his acquaintance more fully.--Robert EllwoodSources: Article in Theosophical EncyclopediaWikipedia articlegeoffreyhodson.comGeoffrey Hodson, Light of the Sanctuary: The Occult Diary of Geoffrey Hodson. Compiled by Sandra Hodson. Posthumously published 1988.Relevant booklets, most undated: “The Case for Vegetarianism,” “Radiant Health from a Meat-free Dietary,” “An Animals' Bill of Rights,” “Animals and Men, the Ideal Relationship,”“Vegetarian Foods--Their Nutrient Properties,” and “Our Friends the Animals”Recipe: Green Smoothie2 cups fresh pineapple, chopped into chunks3 small bananas, cut up10 oz baby spinachhandful of fresh parsley1 cup coconut water1 whole (peeled) orange, including seedsJuice of 1 limeBlend and enjoy. This smoothie is easy to make, filling, tasty, and super-nutritious.--Angie CordeiroPoetry: Christina Rossetti, 1830 - 1894Lord, purge our eyes to seeWithin the seed a tree,Within the glowing egg a bird,Within the shroud a butterfly.Till, taught by such, we seeBeyond all creatures, theeAnd hearken to thy tender wordAnd hear its "Fear not; it is I."