Vegan group holds 'vigils' for chickens en route to processing plant

A group of protesters in St. John's has been giving last rites — sort of — to chickens on their way into the Country Ribbon processing plant.

Protests outside of Country Ribbon have been ongoing for two years

Murray Noseworthy, second from right, says the group he helps organize holds a vigil shows compassion to chickens being sent to slaughter. (Gavin Simms/CBC)

A group of protesters in St. John's has been giving a sort-of last rites to chickens on their way into a local processing plant.

"Country Ribbon represents the atrocity of animal agriculture," Murray Noseworthy, an organizer with vegan group St. John's Farm Animal Save, told CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show

Protests outside the chicken-processing facility and headquarters have been a weekly occurrence for two years. Noseworthy said the chickens shipped to the facility are only seven weeks old and genetically modified and he estimates 13 million are killed by Country Ribbon each year.

The St. John's Farm Animal Save group stops Country Ribbon trucks just outside of the processing plant during their protests to see the chickens off, something Noseworthy says the company has been allowing them to do. 

The group takes photographs and video to publish to its Facebook page.  

The protesters outside Country Ribbon say they want to show the public where its food is coming from. (Gavin Simms/CBC)

Noseworthy believes the chickens being processed are far too young, some still showing their yellow feathers.

"It's unfair and it's unjust that we slaughter, confine, mutilate these animals simply for an unnecessary taste preference," he said.

"We want people to know where their food comes from, and then make the decision based on that, whether they want to participate in this kind of cruelty."

Support growing

Noseworthy says the group was often harassed by the public and the workers of Country Ribbon when they began their protests, but he says that has changed.

"I think the dialogue is becoming normalized about animal agriculture now, and people are becoming aware and are starting to understand that this is wrong," he said.

Noseworthy said he understands his group's views may be considered extreme by some, but they plan to continue what they're doing.

"We have to get away from animal products to save our environment, and it's also really bad for our health," he said.

"It will take time, but it's started."

CBC requested an interview with Country Ribbon but has not received a response.

With files from The St. John's Morning Show

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