What's the difference?
Saturday, 17:53. I still remember my feet-soles were flat. Now, after many months of standing on these thin wires, used as floor, my feet-soles have many big blisters. I can not stand without those blisters pressed to the wires, causing me pain.
The floor is sloping. Standing on it is straining and I have to move my legs constantly in order to relieve my leg muscles. I lift one leg, and then lower it down. Shifting my weight from leg to leg, from blister to blister, trying persistently to find less aching posture. Every movement causes my long nails to become entangled (I don?t have ground to rub them) in the wire. Sometimes they break. My legs are so aching and my bones are so weak (I lay an egg almost every day, therefor I lost much calcium from my bones) thus moving is extremely hard for me, but I haven?t got any choice.
Now the pain is intolerable. I climb on the hen on my side. She is the weakest in the cage. I enjoy one second of rest before she shakes me off her back. Now some hen climbed on me. I exert myself and shake her down. I feel the pressure of the egg inside me ? as if it wants to get out. No, please, not yet. I must restrain the egg: Laying an egg is aching, especially, a big egg, and my laying pipe is damaged almost totally from laying an egg almost every day.
The noise around is terrible. Shouts of more than ten thousand mad hens. I sometimes catch myself also shouting. Every hen lives in her pain, in her individual suffering.
I try again to stretch myself, to spread my wings ? no, it?s impossible ? the cage is too small even to one hen, but 3 hens confined in it. The others hens in my cage get mad, burst in riotousness and peck one another. Nervousness and grief turn to aggression. Even pecking aches, because our beaks were cut by a hot Guillotine.
A week ago I was sure I?m going to die: We passed ?forced molting?, namely two weeks without food, in order to cause us to increase eggs production. Some hens died. Unfortunatelly I did not die.
I yearn strongly to do all the things that hens do in nature out of instinct, but can not do them in the cage: Step on the ground, wallow in the sand, rub my chest against the ground, spread my wings and fly to a branch of a tree? I imagine the lattices are sand, and rub my chest against them. But the acute pain of the rusty iron reminds me immediately where I am. Only few feathers were left in my chest ? those rubs removed them, and the bare skin bleeds abidingly.
Every second is long as eternity. Sixty seconds in a minute, sixty minutes in one hour, twenty four hours in a day, and the man who imprisoned me here gets about 5 cents for every robbed egg I lay in one day. Within less than one year I will be sent to death, unless I will die sooner. Tomorrow a lovely vegetarian girl will eat my egg with two slices of bread, salad and orange juice.