Written by PETA
Here's something you won't hear too often: Austrian nuns opened a health spa to raise money for their convent after their chicken farm "fell flat." The nuns even use high-pressure hoses to spray chilled water at guests to stimulate their skin. The whole thing might not sound very conventional (there's no buff masseuse in a muscle shirt), but, hey, it's better than a chicken-breeding business. You go, sisters!
Perhaps they'll inspire the monks at Our Lady of Calvary Abbey, a monastery in Canada, to shut down their despicable factory farm and open a Jazzercise club—or at least switch to some other non-animal venture, such as making preserves, brewing beer, or growing vegetables. The monks at Mepkin Abbey made the compassionate decision to shut down their egg-laying operation and start growing oyster mushrooms following a PETA investigation.
So before you post a comment about the church's massage technique (you know you want to), please take a moment to urge the monks at Our Lady of Calvary to follow the example of their brothers at Mepkin and their sisters at Marienkron and convert to a humane alternative.
Thanks to David Best for sending this story our way.
Written by Heather Moore
Remember the animal abusing monks at Mepkin Abbey from a couple of weeks ago? Just wanted to give you a quick update on that case.
This morning, PETA filed formal complaints with the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, the state Attorney General’s Office, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleging unfair trade practices—including false and misleading advertising. In the complaints, PETA alleges that the abbey, which operates a factory egg farm where more than 20,000 debeaked hens are packed four or five to a cage the size of file drawer, is misleading customers with its lofty claims of humane treatment and “happy” animals. PETA filed the complaints after the abbot and public relations director of Mepkin Abbey refused to discuss retracting the abbey’s false claims and changing its advertising.
Here’s a quote from the press release we sent out, “The way that these monks treat God’s creatures is a sacrilege,” says PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich. “Not only have the monks hideously abused these poor birds and denied them everything that God intended, they’ve also broken the public’s trust by claiming that what Mepkin Abbey does is different from what is done in industrialized factory farms. The monks are accountable for breaking the law and deceiving people who bought these eggs believing that they came from birds who were well cared for.”
I’ll keep you updated as the case progresses—there was a great piece about the story in the LA Times today, which you can check out here.
The high school I went to was a small Catholic school in DC called St. Anselm's Abbey School, which was run by Benedictine monks. Although it was pretty stressful academically—and kind of traumatizing that there were no girls there—the experience was one of the best of my life, in no small part because of the powerful example of wisdom and kindness that all of the monks provided, both in their teaching and in their daily life. (I also really liked the fact that we had a ping pong table in our senior lounge, but that's a different story.) But the point here is, as those of you who have seen the huge breaking investigation on the front page of our website will have guessed, that my personal experience with the genuine compassion that's a fundamental part of the Catholic monastic tradition has made it even more difficult for me to try to comprehend the tragic blindness to horrifying cruelty that is shown by the monks at the Mepkin Abbey, who run an egg factory farm to fund their South Carolina monastery.
One of the worst parts of this video for me is when a monk compares the process of forced molting to a fast that he and his brethren practice to show their devotion to God. The difference—for the benefit of any Mepkin Abbey monks who happen to be reading this—is that a fast is a voluntary religious practice, while forced molting is an excruciating torture in which chickens who are already crammed together in cages so small that they barely have room to spread their wings are starved for up to two weeks to shock their bodies into another laying cycle.
Before I get too carried away here, the point I want to make is that, while torturing birds is particularly reprehensible when you find out that the people who are doing it should damn well know better (because, for instance, they're monks, for God's sake), the truth is that most of the horrific practices documented in our investigation are industry standard. If you're looking for something to give up this Lent, please think seriously about giving up eggs. You can always give up chocolate next year.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.