One Thing You Can Do to Save Lives (That Isn't Mask-Related) | Teen Ink

One Thing You Can Do to Save Lives (That Isn't Mask-Related)

March 24, 2021
By AriLiebman SILVER, Chicago, Illinois
AriLiebman SILVER, Chicago, Illinois
5 articles 1 photo 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
"Everything you've ever wanted is on the other side of fear." - George Addair

   You hear a scream from a building. Hurriedly, you look into the foggy window the best you can. You see men grasping knives, pulling their victims into a hidden room - “the back.” More screams, then nothing. Silence. A hose turns on. You know what is being washed away down a drain, reddish-pink. Destruction of evidence. 

   Yet you could not intervene, for even if you had, it would have been of no consequence. So you watch in silence, horrified by the evil your eyes have witnessed first-hand. There is no mercy in this building, only chatter and a heavy clucking of the caged birds, who are again up for grabs. Another one is yanked out, wings flapping, and taken to the kill floor. Mothers laugh as they chat with fellow customers, clutching their young childrens’ hands. 

   Your head boils over, but you can’t let out the steam. Surely something can be done. But what? How?

   For a second time, you look in through the window. You can see the victims in their cages, wing-to-wing. You see chickens, but also pigeons, turkeys, and quails. Then you see rabbits, all huddled together, each one a bundle of dread. Their eyes are wide, they know their fate. 

   If you stepped into any live market of Chicago, you would understand this is not an exaggeration. If you took a brief trip to:

Ciales Poultry,

Chicago Live Poultry,

Aden Poultry,

John’s Live Poultry,

Cermak Poultry,

Windy City Poultry,

Garibay Poultry,

Alliance Poultry Farm MKT Inc,

A & D Live Chicken Poultry, Inc,

M K Poultry, Inc.,

Western Poultry,

Fermin’s Poultry Inc., or

Wing Ho 128, Inc.,


   you, too, would hear the screams, and you would understand. The animals are kept in brutal conditions, but customers do not mind - many come from organic, free-range farms, so killing them is considered “humane.” 

   Shockingly, 9 out of the 13 live poultry markets of Chicago are illegal. Yes, illegal as in “not supposed to exist in the first place.” A city ordinance prohibits live poultry markets from operating within 200 feet of any other building, yet nine break this law, endangering the lives of community residents and subjecting them to the screams of tortured animals. 

   This law has yet to be enforced, even after Slaughter Free Chicago fought to have the nine illegal businesses shut down. Now the animal rights organization has turned its efforts to highlighting health violations, in an attempt to make it more difficult for the slaughterhouses to operate. 

   According to the nonprofit, “...slaughterhouses are violating a variety of city zoning and public health laws that, if properly enforced, would effectively shut them down.”

   Take action by calling John M. O’Keefe of the Illinois Department of Agriculture, and tell him to shut down Chicago live markets! Spread the message to friends and family, even if they do not live in Chicago. With a collective effort, these places will have no other option but to close. 

                                                     (847) 294-4349

                                                        Sample Script:

   Mr. Mazurczak,

   Slaughter Free Chicago emailed you a report on Chicago Live Poultry/Yemen Poultry on October 3rd, detailing several noncompliance issues over the course of years. Please conduct a full investigation of this slaughterhouse, and ALL other live markets in Chicago, without further delay. I eagerly await the results of your investigation.


   [your name].


   On behalf of the animals, who all hope for someone to care,

   thank you.

The author's comments:

I am a Chicago high school student living with the effects that Animal Agriculture has on our world, from Climate Change to COVID-19. 

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