MickaCoo at the Conscious Eating Conference 2014

On April 6th, I had the privilege of participating in the Conscious Eating Conference 2014 co-hosted by United Poultry Concerns & Animal Place. It was extremely informative and rescued King pigeon Valiant and I contributed to the growing awareness.

Most people don’t know much about squab.

Valiant made a lot of new friends

Valiant made a lot of new friends

People are always surprised when I tell them that all these King pigeons that we rescue are bred to be eaten. They are factory-farmed or backyard-bred and taken out of their nest at four weeks old (before they’ve fledged) to be butchered and served as squab, a delicacy “to grace the menus of American haute cuisine restaurants such as Le Cirque and The French Laundry” among others.

I’m really glad that the truth about what we do to animals- whether they are used in agribusiness, the fur and feather trades, rodeos, circuses, zoos, the pet trades, etc. is starting to seep out into the mainstream. It’s important to know the truth.

Robert Grillo, Free from Harm

Robert Grillo, Free from Harm

The more we know about what we eat, the more surprising it is. Many of us recoil at the thought of eating veal but their awful suffering isn’t unusual. All calves born to dairy cows are taken (bawling) away from their (bellowing) mothers at birth so that the milk they’re supposed to drink can be sold for humans to drink. Weird that we stop drinking our own mothers’ milk as we are weaned but we drink the milk of another species…?  Most of the male calves of dairy cows are killed straight away as they cost more to raise than they bring when sold so veal are the ‘lucky’ ones. Same thing with billions of just-hatched male chicks. They are sorted and tossed away to die (in macerators or to just suffocate in trash bags) because they are worth more dead (sold as “hatchery debris” for pet food and animal meal) then worth alive (since they can’t lay eggs like their sisters will).  And on and on.

I took a chance and brought Valiant with me to help with my MickaCoo outreach at the Conference. He was the only non-human animal there and he got a lot of love. I brought him, knowing that we might be asked to leave, because I just can’t talk about pigeon rescue unless I can introduce people to a pigeon. When people meet pigeons, they get it. It was a wonderful event and I’m grateful that we were included. I’m grateful to all those who are working to make this a less cruel and more compassionate world.

Please sign (once) and share (a lot) our Pledge to Say No to Squab!

You can see Valiant’s rescue story & baby pictures here.

Learn more about how King pigeons end up in animal shelters needing rescue here.

Learn more about reducing suffering & living vegan here.


One Comment

  1. I wish I could have attended, Elizabeth — it was such a great roster of speakers. Thank you for representing pigeons and their cause so beautifully. I’m anxious for Cowspiracy to be completed and screened. It’s addressing such a critical, environmental topic, one facet that’s hardly ever addressed in the mainstream.


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