28 October 2010

Kansas teen saves pet chicken from slaughter

Whitney Hillman, a 16 year old student at Concordia High School in Kansas, was recently suspended from school, not for skipping class, smoking in the girls’ room or for any other mischievous teenage behavior, but for saving the life of a chicken she raised for a science class.

Whitney was enrolled in an animal science and food protection class and was given a baby chick—whom she named Chicklet—to raise. By the time Whitney was told that she would eventually have to slaughter Chicklet, it was not only too late to drop the class, it was too late to change the fact that Chicklet had gone from project to pet. Whitney knew she could never kill the little chicken, who liked to be held and petted, so she decided to take action.

With the help of her mother and stepfather, Whitney devised a plan. On slaughter day Whitney went to the classroom early, took Chicklet and ran to the parking lot, where her stepfather was waiting for her in the getaway car. Whitney ditched school for the very first time but Chicklet was safe. Whitney later returned to school to face her punishment, a 2 day suspension.

“If you were told to cut off (a pet’s) head, pull off its fur, clean out all the guts, bag and freeze the meat and take it home for your family to enjoy, what would you do? Please don’t judge me on grounds of bad behavior, but on love and empathy for another living being,” Whitney said.

Whitney originally took the class because she loves animals and wants to study zoology. Well, she is a great example of what loving animals is really about, and hopefully she will follow her dream to work with and help animals.

Update: The actually spelling of the chicken's name is "Chicklett."

Robin Lawless | @robmlaw
Robin lives in NYC with her cat Maggie where she follows a vegetarian lifestyle, practices yoga, and volunteers at Catskill Animal Sanctuary. Follow Robin on Facebook

Photo credit: video screen capture