EIGHTEEN MONTHS OF HELL. A Short Story By Lily Carrington.

From a hatchling until her death in an automated slaughterhouse, a factory-farmed chicken’s life is hell from beginning to end.  Another powerful and compassionate story from young writer and animal activist Lily Carrington.  


Day One…

She tumbles out of her eggshell and lands on something hard. A cacophony of chirping overwhelms her, like a door opening to a deafening crowd. The brightness of artificial lights blinds her at first. She blinks. She’s in a crate, cold plastic slats pressing painfully into her brand-new baby feet. She does a little shake, her feathers sticking to her skin like wet clothes. Her blue eyes are wide, her heart beats out a speedy rhythm in her chest. All of a sudden, a hand lunges down towards her. Before she can run, fingers clamp around her small frame like a vice, lift her into the air, then send her flying. She slams down onto another unforgiving surface, a conveyor belt. After a moment of panicked kicking and flapping she regains her balance and stands, wobbling among countless other chicks as the conveyor belt moves along steadily beneath them. She is grabbed again, carried, dropped, grabbed again, and then blinding pain sears through her beak. She screams internally, the agony unbearable. After an excruciating few seconds, the machine releases her beak, but the pain barely recedes. She falls into another crate. Her head lolls forward, eyes half closed as pain continues to surge through her body in waves, threatening to drown her. The crate is lifted and stacked on top of another. Then another is stacked on top of that.

Eleven months later…

In the darkness of a shed, her beak still hurts when she eats. But now she has worse pains that compete for her attention. Her skin stings in the raw patches where her feathers are missing, pecked out by other chickens when she attempts to approach the pop holes. Now her feathers have started just falling out by themselves. Her legs falter beneath her, becoming more fragile every day. Her feet ache from standing on hard plastic. Her lungs burn from the stench that permeates the air. Huddled in a gloomy corner, her gaze darts
around, left, right, left again. She blinks, and lets her haggard body gradually sink onto the grimy floor. She breathes slowly, heavily. Her eyelids close halfway, but not fully. Her body feels as if it’s full of bricks, but her mind zaps with anxiety, preventing her from sleeping. She will never know what it’s like to feel safe.

Seven months later…

She is weaker still. An unusual commotion brings her to her feet. Chickens are being seized and crammed into crates. She becomes immediately alert, as fear tightens its hold on her. She rushes clumsily to the rear of the shed where the other chickens have gathered into a mass of squawking, flapping, feathers. Soon she too fails to escape the determined hands as they lunge and grab. As she panics wildly, fingers tighten around one of her legs and jerk her upside down. Her leg snaps and searing pain engulfs her. But the hand doesn’t let go.

“Keep flapping and I’ll break your other one too!”

She’s shoved into a crate, and desperately tries to readjust. Trying, but failing, to escape the pain in her leg. More chickens are
squashed on top of her. She can barely breathe.

Five hours later…

Her world tilts upside down as she is wrenched from the midst of the chickens in her crate. Her mangled leg is forced into the unyielding grip of a metal shackle. The pain is overwhelming. But the world does not stop for her, and the line of shackles moves onwards.

Taking her, in all her flapping desperation, to the electrified water baths. Without hesitation, she is dragged headfirst into the bath. She thrashes under the water. In the shackles, her pale feet twitch and spasm. She is still underwater, and still she thrashes. Then finally, finally, finally, her body goes limp. At the other end of the bath, she emerges. Her bare throat arrives in the hands of the throat cutter. The knife points into her flesh, presses, and cuts her open, then her blood pours out.

See also: 






Lily Carrington is a dedicated animal rights activist who is driven by a strong sense of justice for all beings. She is fighting for a world where all non-human animals are granted respect, compassion and freedom. Lily lives in Hamilton, New Zealand, with her Mum and 10 companion animals.  She has recently graduated from school.

‘1803’. A Short Story By Lily Carrington

A dairy mother watches helplessly as her calf is taken away from her and killed.


I do not have a name. I have a number. 1803.

My black and white hide quickly becomes sodden as the taunting rain explodes like a million tears falling to earth. I stand by the heavy gate, my hooves unsteady in the mud, long lashes blinking in the rain. My heart pounds in my chest and my breath comes in harsh gasps.

I hid him this time, his newborn body disappearing easily in the long grass by the shrubs. But they found him of course, and took him away like last time. They think I am stupid but I remember.

“Get in there, you little piece of sh*t!” A male voice rises above the repeated crying of my baby from across the yard. A black bird flees from near the lean to where my one was dragged. Two bodies still lay outside the wonky structure from the day before. The dark coloured puddle that appeared around them has long washed away. I remember the sudden air splitting noise, one piercing crack followed by another, and seeing the two little bodies fall, one struggling on the ground for a while till they both went still.

A rough thumping then a squeal of pain sound from across the yard and another wave of anguish washes through me. A large tear escapes from one of my big brown eyes and mingles with the rain on my face.

“Stop your whining,” the voice continues. “you’re useless, you know that? No good for nothing”. My large soft ears twitch towards the sound. I know the voice. My whole self recoils from it. He has my baby, that human. I can just glimpse into the corner of the lean to where my baby stands on wobbly legs, shaking and looking around, confused. The man stands looking down at him and takes something black and solid from his jacket. I pace back and forth by the gate.

The man has stopped talking. I see him holding the black object to my baby’s head. He takes it away a fraction, looking at the gun then the tiny, weak calf in front of him and back to the gun again. He seems to hesitate, his brow furrowed. Then he shakes his head and roughly pushes my baby out of view, muttering something under his breath. I hear my calf start crying out again, high pitched, scared, cries. Calling for his mother.

I push against the gate again, but it doesn’t give. I try the fence but the strange pain flashes through my body like I knew it would and I pull back abruptly. I pace again, the blood from labour now mixed with mud on my hind legs and my udder hanging heavy with milk ready for my calf.

A gunshot sounds. My babies crying stops. I let out a long, mournful cry, then let my head hang and do not move for a long time.

See also:








Lily Carrington is a dedicated animal rights activist who is driven by a strong sense of justice for all beings. She is fighting for a world where all non human animals are granted respect, compassion and freedom. Lily lives in Hamilton, New Zealand, with her Mum and 10 companion animals, and has recently graduated from school. 

‘I’ve Seen You In The Meat Aisle’, by Emily Murphy

[et_pb_section bb_built=”1″][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.19.9″]

I’ve seen you in the meat aisle

Seen you choosing what to eat

Eyeing up their body parts

In rows all nice and neat.

I’ve seen you grabbing bottled milk

That wasn’t made for you

And I know you never think about

The suffering they knew.

I’ve watched you fill your trolley up

With misery and pain.

Eggs and cheese, a leg, a wing

My heart just broke again.

You say I should respect your choice

That it’s your right to choose

Well legally perhaps you win

But morally you lose.

I don’t know how you do it

But you close your ears and eyes

To the slaughterhouse, the blood and screams

Their fear, despair and cries.

It doesn’t even cross your mind

You bite and drink and chew

And you keep yourself from knowing

They died because of you.

So no, I don’t respect your choice

There’s no respect from me

You are putting in your stomach

Someone you refuse to see.

The animals, they have no voice

Convenient for you


But have a heart and look at those