Today I went on a Walk for Farm Animals. This is a walk to raise awareness of the plight of farmed animals, and it is the third year in a row that I have done it. Our local walk simply makes a loop around the downtown area, and takes about 45 minutes. With stopping at stoplights it takes a while to get anywhere. I'd guess the route is about a mile or a little more.
I was still in some pain when I got to the start of the walk. I had just returned from a trip south last night, driving both ways, and trips do make me stiffer than usual. Still, I thought I would relax a bit and get more comfortable as the walk went on. It didn't. It was painful from start to finish. I focused on walking on the inside of my feet and holding myself as straight as I could but it was clear I was limping a little and that I was in pain. I had really hoped that by this time I would be walking more easily but it is not to be.
I have been reading a book about the lives of some individual farmed animals who were rescued. Because of the way chickens and pigs are bred, they gain weight rapidly and their bones cannot take the weight easily. The factory farms where they are raised are not concerned with this condition because they slaughter the animals when they are still babies - six weeks to six months old. But the lucky ones, the ones who are rescued, are left to suffer with the results of this breeding. Turkeys, chickens, and pigs reach a point when their fragile bones cannot support their weight. The hens are further depleted by the egg-laying. A factory-farm hen lays several times as many eggs per year as a hen who has not been bred for this purpose, and the laying depletes the calcium in their bones.
Thus all of these animals have trouble walking, too. I can relate. I don't carry as much weight as they do relative to my bones but I can relate.