Chickens are one of the most abused animals in the world. Chickens used for food are killed at 40 days old. They may live to be 5-10 years old or more if given the opportunity to be free from harm. 730,000,000 chickens are raised and slain for meat each year in Canada.
Toronto Chicken Save shows compassion to animals while bringing transparency to the food system and promotes plant-based vegan living. We hold regular vigils for the chickens to bear witness to their suffering, and to speak up for and bring awareness to the thousands of lives who are needlessly and violently stolen daily at this Toronto slaughterhouse. Join us! Bring a friend. Be their voice. Be the change you want to see in the world.
🦠 With the fall migration, Ontario is once again reporting an increase in Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza. Sick birds have been found in domestic poultry flocks in the province. HPAI positive birds have been reported at Harrison Park Bird Sanctuary in Owen Sound, and at Open Sky Raptor Foundation in Grimsby and nearly 100 birds have been euthanized by the CFIA at each location. The Canadian Wildlife Health Center has let us know that several Canada geese have tested positive in these areas as well. Please ensure you take precautions when approaching the truck. Sanitize your hands and phone immediately after if using it for documenting/photographing. Change out of clothing at your earliest convenience to be safe. We do not want to be responsible for further spreading this virus.
❌📸✅🔦 The chickens we bear witness to are very young and scared. Most have not had positive human interactions in their short lives and may see us as danger. Let’s not cause any added stress to these beings than they already have. Artificial light, like a camera flash, has a big impact on birds. Never use a flash at night. If you do, it may startle the bird and cause injury. When it’s dark out, instead of using a flash, please select a higher ISO speed. Be mindful if using a flashlight to not shine them directly in the chickens’ eyes.
⚠️ Normally two trucks are scheduled to arrive within the timeframe of this vigil. The manager or security guard on duty will voluntarily allow us to spend five minutes with each truck. They have asked that we not take photos/videos of employees, that we bear witness from the side of the truck that is along the grass (not the side of the street), and would appreciate if we wore safety vests. Please be respectful of these requests, as they do not have to allow us spend time with the chickens. We do not put anyone at risk of breaking any laws, and therefore ask that you be mindful of Bill 156 which state’s we cannot interfere with or stop the trucks ourselves.
🚗 If driving, please park in south end of the parking lot of Metro grocery store (directly behind the store), closest to Ethel Avenue and Maple Leaf.
🚎 If using public transit, take the 512 St. Clair streetcar to Gunns Loop, then it’s a two minute walk to the slaughterhouse
🚔 A section of Bill 156 has taken effect prohibiting us to interfere or stop trucks. We do not forcefully stop trucks at these vigils, however Maple Leaf managers have agreed to voluntarily let us spend five full minutes with each truck. With a peaceful presence, we hope they will continue to do so. Please come with peace to change the violent, dark energy of this area of Toronto. If the manager or security guard is not present (for whatever reason) there is a chance truck will enter the slaughterhouse gates without allowing us to bear witness. This has only happened once in the past year.
⛈ We attend rain or shine, as the chickens arrive rain or shine. However, if there is a forecast for thunderstorms we may cancel the event for our safety. Please click “Going” to be notified of any cancellation. When the weather is cold or rainy the truck may arrive covered with a tarp. If the truck is covered we are not able to bear witness to the chickens and do not ask for the truck to stop.
☮️ The purpose of Toronto Chicken Save vigils is to bear witness, to see the reality, to connect, to document, then to share with others. To bring peace to a violent space. Disruptions should take place at a different time.
🚛 👷🏾♀️🧑🏿🍳 Though we know what they do for a living is wrong, we remain respectful to the drivers and employees for giving us this time to expose to the world the reality of farmed animals. We are not there to attack individuals, but a whole system. Offer a wave or peace sign instead of responding negatively if a worker engages with you. Break the cycle of violence.
🦺 Ethel Avenue is extremely dark in the evening/night and at times busy with transport trucks and other large vehicles. Please dress visibly, dress according to the weather, and carry a light source with you. When bearing witness, we are often not actively paying attention to our surroundings and tragedy could happen. Please stay on on the side of the truck where we are permitted to bear witness from, do not stand in the street or at the back of the trailer. Safety vests will be provided. Avoid the temptation to reach inside for the following reasons: The truck may suddenly move, trapping/taking you with it. Fear. Many of these beings have not known kind human hands in the past so human hand/arm may cause them stress.
Moving away from the truck:
Everyone will be notified when five minutes is up. At that time we must sadly move away from the truck, for your safety. Not giving them the safe space may, sadly, end our ability to bear witness. Until we create a mass movement to free our friends, this is what we must do to help them.
✌🏽 CODE OF CONDUCT: This is a peaceful vigil. We will remain calm and non-violent at all times. Our demeanour will strongly affect the outcome of this event and how we will be perceived by the public. We cannot advocate for a message of peace & non-violence if our actions do not reflect that. There will be zero tolerance for any kind of behaviour that intimidates, threatens, isolates, or marginalizes another person or group of people. Your safety is our top priority so please alert a marshal if you feel unsafe and they will assist you. Disengage from any heated conversations with members of the public and direct them to a marshal. We will stay united as a group and always look out for each other’s safety.
🙏🏽 Thank you for your understanding and for coming to bear witness and to be their voice. Please bring a friend. They desperately need you there.