In what certainly rates as a much more compassionate move than the one convicted chick killer, Joshua Shelton, pulled on August 28, Mercy for Animals challenged Shelton to become vegetarian to atone for his boneheaded inadvertent mass murder of 70,000 chickens.
Shelton was responsible for the birds’ deaths when he drunkenly turned off the ventilation system to three sheds on a chicken factory farm in Delmar, Maryland. He was charged with trespassing, burglary, destruction of property and cruelty to animals when the birds asphyxiated from the toxic waste fumes circulating through the sheds they were housed in.
Though Shelton has not responded to the open letter the animal rights organization penned to him, it went on to say that he can avoid being responsible for even more animal deaths in the future by choosing “non-poultry alternatives” in his diet.
Factory farmed chickens live in structures surrounded by huge amounts of their waste which naturally contain toxic fumes from methane, ammonia, dust, dander and carbon monoxide. Without constant ventilation, the animals would die within minutes which is exactly what happened when Shelton shut off the ventilation.
Mercy for Animals, a national non-profit animal rights group, sent a free Vegetarian Starter Kit to Shelton and is hoping that he might grow a conscience during his extended court process in the coming weeks. Future chickens hope so, too!
Photo credit: MFA