January 16, 2010
Hello! My name is Julia Worcester, and along with Orren and other teens who are doing great work for animals, I am on the Teen Advisory Board of the Humane Society of the United States. I was really excited that KIND News (the publication of HumaneTeen) was able to publish a piece I wrote (about my tiger travels in India) in the February 2010 issue (http://www.kindnews.org/).
I love all animals and have been a vegetarian all my life. I think factory farming is disgusting, I hate animal abuse, and I have two cats and a dog (both cats were found on the street, and we found my dog at a shelter). But my life has pulled me to a more exotic side of the animal kingdom.
Ever since I was nine I have travelled to India about once a year. My mom and I have very special friends in India who are wildlife conservationists, and publish the largest wildlife magazine in India (Sanctuary Asia) and its kids version (Cub). My trips to India are in part because of, and have led me to meet, many amazing people. I have also had so many unique opportunities in India. It has helped me become better in touch with the world and given me many opportunities to help and learn about wildlife, tigers in particular.
I think the work that Orren is doing for chickens, and his feelings for them, are amazing and really important. Personally I have always felt that chickens are the ultimate underdogs, and I began to worry that no one felt the same way about chickens, and that no one speaks out about the horrible conditions in factory farms and slaughterhouses for chickens in particular. Many people are doing amazing work to try to stop the cruelty of factory farming, but even so, chickens still remain an animal that people make fun of and don’t sympathize with.
Throughout my trips to India I have been to several National Parks (Ranthambhore, Corbett, and Sariska). One particularly lively animal that we have seen is the Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus is the Latin name). I was told by Indian friends that junglefowl are the wild ancestor of the domestic chicken. It is strange to be in such a wild place where you expect to see tigers and elephants, and a beautiful rooster comes running out of the bush!
Helping animals in any way you can is important. Whether your connection is through your pets, through something interesting that your school did, or anything else, it all counts. Animals deserve attention and respect from us, and helping everything from the smallest chicken to the wildest tiger is a very good thing.