Today Abby Bean tipped us to the story of a rooster who spends his days outside Gus’s Fried Chicken restaurant in Collierville, Tenn. Everyone thinks it’s so funny! “He runs this place!” exclaims the titular Gus. People have called the local Animal Care and Control out of concern that the rooster will be hit by a car. He’s like their mascot!

Why do patrons of a fried chicken restaurant love to see a live, (relatively) free rooster outside of the place where they go to devour this rooster’s fellow birds? The fine people at Suicide Food (RIP) know: When the animal you’re about to eat seems to approve, and even encourage (this rooster “greets” patrons, remember) your consumption of it, you no longer have to feel guilty about causing a living being to suffer and die for your meal.

No matter what his true intentions, this rooster has become a chicken ambassador; his presence tells people, “I’m a chicken, and if I haven’t yet burned this place that cooks my dead fellows to the goddamn ground, then it must be acceptable in my moral universe. Fried chicken for all!”

I wonder how long until someone tries to feed the rooster a piece of chicken.


Backyard farming proves to be an epic fail for animals.  »

In news that is not surprising to anyone, people are abandoning the animals in their organic, sustainable, backyard farms. It was so exciting for people in the the beginning, right? When, last year, if you so much as had a backyard, you could have fresh milk and eggs alongside that homegrown chronic arugula! I can’t help but be reminded of when Faye told Don Draper, in the season four finale of Mad Men, “I hope she knows you only like the beginning of things.” I fancied Faye; I am eager (a delusion, I know) to see her in Season five. If you have cable, and saw the season premiere on Sunday, don’t tell me anything! I’m waiting til someone downloads it for me it comes to DVD!

Gosh you guys! Enough about pop culture! This is about the animals!

Though this Mother Nature Network post mostly talks about the plight of animals in New York, I can’t help but feel it is probably true of most who have taken on this whole “WOOO! Livestock in my backyard!” thing. It’s so infuriating. I’m not someone who gardens, or raises livestock (I just like watching TV so much) so you have to bear with me here. It sounds like people go into backyard farms all, “Oh, I’ll get some hens, and they’ll lay eggs, and I’ll have delicious fresh eggs all the time!” But instead they get male chicks! Which grow into roosters! Roosters wake people up before their alarm clocks! So roosters end up in animal sanctuaries, along with goats and all the other farm animals that humans cannot take care of in a kind or responsible manner. To quote the MNW post,

"We get calls all the time from people who don’t want their animals or can’t afford them. We get emails about roosters found in the city or goats being neglected or pigs that are going to be killed if we don’t take them," says Elana Kirshenbaum, programs coordinator at Woodstock.

As the local food movement takes hold and urban homesteading gains popularity, more people are giving backyard farming a try. The prospect of fresh eggs and milk inspires them to bring home adorable chicks and goats — but when chicks grow into roosters or goats begin eating the landscaping, these animals are often given to animal sanctuaries or simply abandoned.
"People have a romantic view of farming, but it takes a lot of time, energy and money to care for animals. Here, we take our chickens to the vet, and when they’re sick, we give them antibiotics. People need to ask themselves if they’re ready to take on that kind of responsibility for the life of the animal," says Kirshenbaum.

Arugula is one thing, livestock is another! Want a hobby? I hear knitting is popular! Baking too! Card games, Mad Men marathons…


Sponsor a dear chicken this Valentine’s Day! They need love too!  »

Harvest Home Sanctuary is having a sponsor-a-thon RIGHT NOW until Valentine’s Day! For $15, you can sponsor a sweet rescue chicken for one month! Select recurring payments to sponsor your pal every month! I’m partial to Little Wayne above (nickname: Pretty Ricky!) who was rescued from a hoarder last year. I just donated my $15 for Pretty Ricky and you can too!

From Harvest Home:

Among the 200 animals living at Harvest Home, 100 chickens call the sanctuary home. Our goal for this campaign is to find a sponsor for each chicken by Valentine’s Day. 

For just $15 a month, you can sponsor a rescued hen or rooster. Sponsorships make marvelous gifts for your animal-loving family and friends. You can make a meaningful impact in the life of one of our adorable birds this year.

Click here to donate! Show your love and compassion this V-Day. 


Really? Feather fur extensions for dogs? They are as stupid as they are cruel!  »

Welcome to yet another travesty in American culture: Puppylocks. They are feather fur extensions for dogs. Feather fucking fur extensions for dogs. The world is a crazy place. It’s bad enough that people wear feather extensions, now their dogs have to? I find it completely offensive, like, towards life in general. I think it’s super whack and corny but I know that people think feather extensions look nice on them (even though they don’t) and people really care about how they look, but a dog, at best, does not give a fuck about feather extensions. Is it really worth torturing roosters for this?

The demented company that makes Puppylocks is Condition Culture. Call them and write them angry emails about how ridiculous and cruel they are—oh, and don’t forget to mention how fucked up their feather supplier is! The company they proudly get feathers from is Whiting Farms, one of the world’s largest producers of “fly tying feathers” (you know, for the glorious "sport" that is fishing). Whiting Farms says they “harvested” 125,000 roosters in the year 2000—that is pre-feather extension craze. I don’t want to imagine how many they “harvest” now.

A piece about the fad in the Seattle Times says the feathers ”come from roosters that are genetically bred and raised for their plumage. In most cases, the birds do not survive the plucking.” Some places do live-plucking? That’s a horrible and sickening process. But according to the Seattle Times, at Whiting Farms, “the roosters live about a year while their saddle feathers — the ones on the bird’s backside and the most popular for hair extensions — grow as long as possible. Then the animal is euthanized.” So Whiting Farms claims it doesn’t do live-plucking, I guess thank god for small favors?

If the roosters being killed just for their feathers isn’t bad enough for you, you can read about the breeding process in ”The Hackle Manifesto" by owner Tom Whiting himself. This "manifesto" is pretty nuts actually. Does he not have a PR person?

First, Tom tells us how helpful objectifying the roosters can be:

It is good to start out with the appreciation that even though the hackle breeders get the credit for the fine feathers, it is the roosters who do the actual producing. It is the chickens, or more specifically the individual feather follicles within their skin, which generate the coveted feathers. The bird itself can be viewed (if you are a reductionist) as merely a biological support system for feather follicles extruding dry fly hackle.

It gets better:

First it should never be forgotten that the unit of use is the individual feather. The whole breeding program must always focus on the feather… Too easily does the focus of the bird or the pelt distract from the all important individual feather… So don’t select birds, select for feathers, and then use the birds that happen to be attached to those feathers.

Wow. This dude is such a dick. He does say that you have to “pamper” the roosters and create optimum conditions for them or the feathers suffer. I guess giant rows of stacked cages means pampered? 

Eventually, he gets into the difficulty of examining feathers on a live bird: 

These aren’t gentle barnyard or fancier chickens, but demons in hackle disguise. And your goal is to look at their feathers, objectively and carefully. Well I have news, he ain’t exactly going to cooperate

You see every hackle rooster seems to realize who exactly is responsible for sentencing him to a solitary cage for the last 6 months, with nothing to look at or listen to other than lots of other confined roosters. And he also realizes he probably has only one good chance to hammer the living hell out of you… And then you have to go catch the son of a bitch as he eludes you then ambushes you from under the cages. Your sentiments can quickly shift from wanting to evaluate their necks to wringing them. Some of my most sheepish moments in life have been after hurling an especially bad rooster across the barn in utter frustration, only to watch them flutter and sail to the floor, ruffled and cackling indignantly, with every single other rooster in the shed chiming in to let you know they all witnessed your little moment of weakness.

Um, say what? Who is this guy? I think he’s in too deep. Shit is getting to him. No, shit has clearly gotten to him. Or, he just blew the roof off a haughty rooster conspiracy! Those indignant mofos are in it together!

So, that is where these Puppylocks come from. Is this really justifiable in the name of some weird projected dog vanity?


Adopt a rooster! They are rad and need your help!  »

Remember how there’s all those bunnies who need homes? Well, that’s not all! There’s a bunch of roosters who need a place to live and love and be crazy and rad, so can’t you adopt one

How about Mr. Karma? The awesome Marji from the awesome Animal Place writes: 

We received a call from a woman who rescued a bantam rooster after he was hit by a car in San Francisco. The little guy lost an eye, but is recovering well after a trip to the veterinarian. Not many people who have stopped for the little guy OR taken him to  a vet. While we have promoted him on our website and through our e-alert, we cannot take him in: we have 50 roosters to place from a hoarding case.

So, come on, do you have room for a rooster? Or know someone who does? Holler at Animal Place TODAY!

Stop reading now if you don’t want to know way too much about me. So. By the by, I’m currently listening to "Ingnition Remix" by R. Kelly. Also, if you don’t have Rdio yet, GET IT. You can listen to whatever you want all the time. Amazing. It’s like England’s Spotify but you gotta pay a little each month. But there’s a free trial! See what you think. Also, if you love R. Kelly as much as I do, you will go apeshit for his interview (conducted by Will Oldham!). OMG SO GOOD. You guys, he doesn’t know what 30 Rock is!? Seriously, WHO IS THIS MAN? It’s like he lives in an alternate universe where 2 + 2 = Cookie (tm, Mark Shrayber). OK, what this has to do with roosters is that they’re basically the R. Kelly of the animal kingdom: all crazy and awesome and independent and fabulous so ADOPT A ROOSTER!


Rooster kills cockfighter  »

No, for real. So many jokes. SO MANY JOKES. I think it goes without saying that if you play with fire—roosters who have had razor blades attached to their feet—you’re gonna get burned—your throat will be slit by said rooster. How very sad for everyone involved. Don’t fuck with roosters, people! They be crazy! Just leave them alone and let them do their crazy cock-a-doodle-DOO thang!
[Thanks to for the tip; photo via Animal Place, where they currently have adorable adoptable hens!]


Roosters are the most frightening/the motherfucking BEST! Okay, I started playing this and my dog seriously ran out of the room t-t-terrified so therefore I must give it the rating: NSFP (Not Suitable For Puppies!).

Thanks for the hot tip, Eve!

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