Demonstrators gathered in front of two live poultry markets in Flushing last Saturday to protest the conditions in which chickens and other animals are kept when raised for human consumption.
Residents and animal rights activists protested and held a vigil outside P&M Live Poultry on Avery Avenue and Ildaro Live Poultry on Fowler Avenue to oppose the abuses in animal agriculture, as a part of World Day for Farmed Animals.
Caroline Lee from Douglaston said she joined the demonstrators because she believes there is no reason to eat animals and the conditions they are kept in are atrocious.
She said the chickens are half-plucked, kept and transported in tiny cages and treated deplorably.
“There are ducks in there. The sweet Aflack duck and Donald Duck are in there, and being slaughtered,” Lee said. “My main concern is that it’s so horrifically cruel and unnecessary, but it’s also putting our health at risk.”
Lee said she has called the Department of Health on P&M Live Poultry in the past after seeing blood, feces and feathers on the sidewalk outside the live market.
Shafali Patel, the coordinator of the protest, said one of the goals of the protest is to highlight that animals are just like humans.
“They have an inherent right to life, distinctive personalities and their suffering is needless when we can live happy and healthy lives without hurting others,” she said.
David Lu, the store manager of P&M Live Market, said he respects the demonstrators’ right to protest, but he doesn’t understand why they are protesting in front of his shop and not the Western Beef supermarket across the street from his live market.
“I’m operating a business for common need. Western Beef’s chickens go through the same procedure, just not on the spot,” he said. “That doesn’t make us the bad guy.”
Herve Breuil of the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary said there needs to be a public debate about the place of animals in society.
Miriam Chisholm, founder of NY Farm Animal Save, said she hopes the demonstration and vigil will “plant a seed” in people in the area by letting them know what is happening to animals in their “backyard” and that there are alternatives to eating meat.
She said the waste produced from large slaughterhouses are ruining the Earth.
“It’s causing so much pollution. All together it’s worse than the cars, you can’t even compare the two,” Chisholm said.
Patel said World Day for Farmed Animals is a day that highlights the suffering of land and marine animals.