She answered sadly, "Your mother has grown old, little one. She is too old to lay any more eggs, so she must go."
I was relieved. "So - she's retired?" I pictured a retirement home like the humans talked about - pretty cottages with clean straw and open space.
The hen shook her head. "You don't understand, pet. She's gone."
"To the retirement home?" I persisted.
The hen hesitated before answering. "No, little one. To the abbatoir. To be turned into - into meat, pet."
I was shocked. My mother - my own mother! - who had slaved for these humans for all those years, and in return they kill her? For food? For them?
It was the hardest news I have ever had to understand. All our lives, we slave away in poor conditions, with no room to lie down, riddled with broken bones and diseases, laying eggs for our keepers - and what happens when we can't lay anymore? They send us off to our deaths, to our last minutes - which are spent hanging upside down on a conveyor belt.
I also realised that something else bad was happening. The people who bought the eggs we were forced to lay - they supported this cruel program!
Let us be free. Let us live.
Buy free range eggs, and support our rights. Don't support animal cruelty!
Or millions of other tiny chicks will grow up to live their life like me - in a cage, unable to see the sky...