The Things We Hide
Camouflage – synonyms: disguise, hide, conceal, keep hidden, mask, screen, veil, cloak, cover, cover up, obscure, shroud.
Taking his name from his serendipitous ability to blend in with the motley-hued bark of the tree he has claimed as his own is Camo. If not for the stark red magnificence of his comb, he could well have gotten away with his mission.
However, spying the diminutive Camo by the tree he races to each morning, and the company of which he keeps all day, we have elected to play along with his ruse.
For he is not ready to accept our kindness just yet.
Although our presence he has, and that is a great place to start.
And given what this lad and his buddies have ploughed through, experiencing the worst of humanity and our wanting animal protection laws, it is easy to understand that he suspects the tender care and delicious treats on offer are a camouflage for just another torment.
For the smarts of chickens are keen, and so too are their rich emotional worlds. All of which has, for too long, sat behind the smokescreen of the derogatory expression of “bird brain”. A human-bestowed convenience that has led to the many travesties that have legally befallen them.
Recently, neuroscientist and executive director of the Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy, Lori Marino, authored a peer-reviewed article revealing that chickens demonstrate self-control and self-assessment, suggesting self-awareness.
Further, she has laid bare their cognitive capabilities, including the ability to recall past events and learn from them, how they can empathise with others, dream, and even do basic arithmetic. They were shown to perceive time and anticipate the future – wouldn’t it be grand if we could create a kinder one for them?
In fact, we can.
By having the courage and compassion to step behind the veil of the farm gate and see things for what they are, not what society and the blind spot of our expediency would have us believe.
One step into that hellhole of despair that was “home” to Camo and thousands of other gentle Silkie chickens would do this. For it was a place where every one of one’s senses was assaulted in the most nightmarish of ways.
A place where one quickly realised that the Codes of Practice that enabled such atrocities to pass as legitimate businesses were simply a deplorable pretence for kindness that is, in fact, a camouflage for institutionalised animal cruelty, facilitated injustice, and debased exploitation.
Fuelled now with this knowledge as you are, we trust it will empower and propel you to help shape that kinder world for all by living each day where your inherent kindness is no secret.
Little did we know, on the first night we met Soldier, that the inky darkness of the sky above was to be foreboding of her fate. She, patiently waiting roadside with the humans who had come to her rescue after the vehicle collision that had rendered her immobile.
With his glistening red comb flopped outrageously over his eyes and his body ensconced by the most silky soft of feather boas, made of the real deal, Earl’s haute couture may not look out of step on the catwalk of Fashion Week or even the cover of Vogue.
Whilst it is hard to define, it is easy to feel, just what makes Special special. For it takes but a moment with this happy-go-lucky little chap to intuit this.
With no need for a Coco Chanel creation or Gucci accessory, our Paris and Nicky Hilton are glamourous girls.
Having difficultly seeing his new world around him, at first Peaky Blinders would scoot away at the mere hint of our presence. But now not so.
Within metres of the road the tiny bird fluttered and flipped. At first thought to be a grey pigeon clipped by a fast-moving car.
As farmed animals, in the scheme of things, it never ends well for them. And every action thus far afforded this mother and child had fuelled their point of view.
There is little doubt Brunswick is a beautiful bird. His magnificent plumage captures the eye, whilst the brilliant radiance of his comb and wattles sets the heart a-flutter.
Around 4.40 pm on the 11th of January 2023, hope met the reality of our promise, as the last Silkie rooster was removed from the tiny wire prison that had been his home for heaven knows how long.