Illustration for article titled Chicken’s Eyes Catch First-Ever Glint Of Sunlight Through Crack In Warehouse Ceiling Just Before Head Sliced Off

CLERMONT, GA—Slowly craning its neck to bask in the sight of the silvery radiance spilling through a crack in the roof of the slaughterhouse far above, a standard farm chicken beheld the light of the sun for the first time Wednesday an instant before powerful industrial machinery sliced off its head, along with those of hundreds of his broodmates. Witnesses surmise that the brief warmth on its dirty, mottled feathers confused the factory-raised bird, but that the ethereal glow was also a comfort, seeming as it did to suggest there was something more to the domestic fowl’s existence beyond being held immobile in constant darkness and subjected to mechanical forced feedings. Slaughterhouse camera footage confirms that the chicken’s pupils widened momentarily and its feces-caked beak hung slack for a few tenths of a second preceding its decapitation, suggesting a mixture of non-comprehension and awe. Avian behaviorists told reporters that the chicken’s posture and movements indicate it would have enjoyed experiencing more sunlight, although those indicators quickly shifted to confusion as the descending blade obstructed the sun’s light. However, it is generally agreed that a sense of calm came over the chicken, persisting until the razor edge effortlessly passed through its cage-malformed spine. Slaughterhouse personnel said the chicken’s headless and rapidly exsanguinating body appeared to continue straining upwards for several more seconds before finally collapsing into a standard carcass bin on the conveyor belt below. The chicken’s body was later mechanically removed from the day’s meat harvest during the automated sorting process and dumped in the trash after being rejected as “irregular.”

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