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

26 comments:

  1. I adore stories like this.

    ReplyDelete
  2. They make you slaughter live chickens in school now!?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am unsure what breed of chicken Chicklet is but if it is a cornish-cross as I suspect (the pic isn't clear enough to tell) it would be more humane to kill it now instead of waiting untill its heart grows too big and it keels over or slowly dies. They should of made it very clear for anyone entering the class, that they would end up killing their projects. My heart really goes out to the girl, because I probably would have done the same thing back when I was her age.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I know! I was traumatized by having to dissect a dead frog, imagine having to kill a live chicken! Yipes!

    ReplyDelete
  5. She is doing what comes naturally to people who love and take care of any animal. YEAH FOR WHITNEY

    ReplyDelete
  6. marylin manson a teacher?????!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. GOOD GOING WHITNEY, I WOULD HAVE DONE THE SAME THING. THESE PEOPLE THAT DON'T UNDERSTAND ARE MORONS. SCHOOLS, GOVERNMENT AND "AUTHORITIES" AS THEY CALL THEMSELVES NEED TO BUTT OUT OF OTHER PEOPLES BUSINESS.... MY DAUGHTER HAS 18 CHICKENS AND THEY ARE NOT UP FOR SLAUGHTER, THEY ARE ALL PETS, PETS THAT GIVE BACK - IT IS CALLED EGGS.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank god for people like Whitney Hillman. You go girl!!! When I was 16 years old, my biology teacher had some kids go to the local swamp and gather up a lot of frogs for experimenting in class. They were going to have us preform experiments on live frogs. So, a male classmate and I, sneaked into the room where they were kept, took the barrels of frogs and brought them back to the swamp. It was great to let the teacher know that it was us, and that we were not going to participate and that we were protesting and we let everyone know about it. The ending to this is that there was no more experimenting allowed on live animals in the biology class, ever.
    We need more young people in the world like Whitney and in professions that can help animals, not experiment on them, maim them or kill them. This story warms my heart!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Way go go Whitney! I would have done the same thing. I find it hard to believe that they are teaching animal slaughtering in school.

    ReplyDelete
  10. They developed virtual dissection for a reason, so kids could watch a virtual animal on a computer develop and then take it apart for study without harming animals unnecessarily. The science class should have been done with iBooks and Virtual Chicken programs to avoid this sort of ethical mayhem. I've no problem with slaughtering chickens actually intended for food, but handing kids animals to raise should be assumed to result in some pet attachments. Leave real slaughter to barnyards and slaughterhouses; our primary schools can use Virtual Animals and get back to teaching.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I think its good for kids to learn where food comes from, but they could of just took a field trip to a small farm to see them slaughter chickens.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I admire your actions, Whitney! You are the future leader this country needs! I wish we could all be as brave as you, and I so wish I had parents like yours when I was growing up!

    I hope Whitney & Chicklet had a good two day holiday.

    ReplyDelete
  13. This story is a microcosm of the entire meat industry, the hunting issue, the extermination of carnivores to protect livestock herds, the displacement and slaughter of the American buffalo, the extermination of our aquatic creatures from overharvesting, the factory farm issue and the way meat animals are routinely tortured and forced to live in horrible, inhumane conditions.

    I recall a story by an 8 year old who raised a chicken as a pet, and was horrified when the family had it for dinner. The title: 'don't get perconel with a chicken'.

    If you have an animal as a pet, you develop a bond, and you find it difficult (unless you are schizophrenic or sadistic, or both) to think of it as a meal. The manufactured meat products you get from the fast food pushers and the grocery stores are inferior in quality, contaminated, and unhealthy to consume. If you must eat meat, raise it and kill it yourself.

    And, MalikTous, you seem to think there is a difference between an animal 'intended for food' and some other animal that's not, but you are mistaken. No animal wants to die, and it's questionable whether they must die or not, given that most people if not all can thrive on a non-meat diet.

    Eating meat is learned, habitual behavior, and it's hard to rout it out of your psyche, but it can be done, and it will benefit your health and the natural world.

    ReplyDelete
  14. As a parent, I would not punish my child for helping an animal. Kids are sensitive, what this school is teaching is not be kind and compasion towards animals since with so much animal abuse to day, they teach to kill. That is scary, what is that teaching kids and how many kids will take that action. Animal abuse leads to human abuse. statistics shows.

    ReplyDelete
  15. If there was a number I can call or petition I would sign it and call it and voice my opinion, if there is please post so our voices for the voiceles can be heard and for the girl that saved her pet.

    ReplyDelete
  16. good for you Whitney. well done.

    ReplyDelete
  17. To Anonymous, if you go to the site change.org, and do a search for - teen refuses to slaughter chicken for high school class - they have a petition to sign there.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Good on you Whitney !!! May you & CHICKLET Live long & prosper together !!!
    Just what are they teaching in school these days.?????
    Having to cut up dead frogs in school was bad enough, when I went many yrs ago: but now it seems, anything goes !!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thumbs up, girl!!! There should be more teenagers and children, and people at all, like you!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I hope she is able to read some the comments from all the various places, blogs and comment boards so she knows she is not alone and how many people applaud what she has done. If it were not for young people like her, our world would be in a bad spot. I congratulate her and the family that raised her and supported her, nurtured her empathy and compassion, and her bravery. By standing up against, not only other classmates and facing possible ridicule which is terrifying as a teen, but also her superiors, she has my vote for being called HERO! She should have NEVER been put in that position and the school board should be ashamed of traumatizing children in this manner, and then punishing them for exhibiting the kind of humane, decent behavior that they should have displayed in the first place. It is time for schools, first, middle and advanced degrees to join the ethically advancing world and stop butchering and perpetrating violence towards living things. GOOD FOR YOU WHITNEY AND CHICKLET!

    ReplyDelete
  21. As the owner of a Cornish cross rooster that we rescued, I'm inclined to disagree with the comment posted that said that it would be more humane to kill Chicklet now.

    While we understand that our rooster's lifespan may be short, we are operating under the logic that we will make his life as enjoyable and comfortable as we can, for as long as we can. He has already lived longer than most of his kind ever get a chance to, we spoil him rotten, and he sure seems to be enjoying his life.

    Whitney, I'm proud of you for your courage and for doing the right thing. Best of luck to you and I wish the best for you and Chicklet.

    PS
    I also signed the petition on change.org and encourage others to do the same.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Bring a gun to school or rescue a pet equals a suspension. What the HELL is the matter with school administraters these days. You can't tell the difference between a gun and a chicken. Now if the chicken brought a gun to school, well that would be different. Idiots leading the young.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Patricia Wicker11/1/10, 4:13 PM

    You go Whitney, can't believe they are doing this in school today. I would have done the same thing. You do not raise an animal as a pet then have to slaughter it. My God what are we coming to with all the inhumanity going on around us. I will sign a petion if I knew where to go to sign.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Great! Good job! You are super hero for the chicklett and me :) and how great parents you have!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Whitney,
    As the person who wrote the 3rd comment said, Chicklet is probably a cornish cross which mean all she/he will want to do is eat eat eat and will grow at an alarming rate. It is important that you learn about how to properly feed him/her. I suggest you call Farm Sanctuary or email the national director, Susie Coston at scoston@farmsanctuary.org and she will tell you exactly how and what to feed your little one for a long and healthy life. They have rescued many cornish cross chickens and know how to maintain their weights.
    Good Luck and so proud of you for taking a stand and choosing the road less travelled.

    ReplyDelete
  26. If more people had Whitney's strength, killing of animals in the classroom would no longer be happening.
    Thank you Whitney and all those students who have made the decision to stand up and be counted!

    ReplyDelete