Regarding the June 20 Politics & the Nation article “When that hen is really a rooster, it’s a peck of consternation”:
Some of the blame for the animal welfare problems caused by the flood of unwanted urban roosters has to lie with animal welfare organizations themselves. Animal welfare groups did such a good job at spotlighting the animal abuse on industrial egg farms that many urban dwellers were inspired to raise backyard hens to boycott factory-farming cruelty.
Simultaneously, these same animal welfare groups have been pushing for ordinances nationwide to ban or severely restrict roosters to crack down on cockfighting. Without consideration of the growing backyard chicken population, these laws have ended up hurting more roosters. Even within agricultural communities, many animal shelters can’t find rooster-adopters because of restrictive local laws, and most roosters who enter shelters don’t make it out alive.
At this point, it’s a safe bet to say that more roosters suffer and die every year thanks to the backyard-chicken fad than cockfighting. It’s time for animal welfare organizations to recognize what animal sanctuaries everywhere already know: “ Adopt , don’t shop ” applies to all companion animals — feathery as well as furry ones.
Ariana Huemer, Felton, Calif.
The writer is director of Hen Harbor.