"I'd never visited a duck farm until I worked with the activists in Australia.
Most of us have seen or met habituated ducks in local parks and public places, or we've seen them flying overhead. What I've always liked about ducks is that they're both curious and shy. A little bit nervous. They'll paddle over to you, but not come too close. They are often in pairs. And they are always in or near water.
When I visit an industrial farm, I know it's going to be awful for the animals, and that my job is to stay calm and document how they live in these buildings. Calm, so that I'm not alarming the animals. As we approached the buildings, the ducks could sense our presence from the inside, and the quacking started. You know how loud one duck is, right? Imagine tens of thousands of ducks, in long sheds, sounding out their alarms. I felt certain that anyone within a few kilometers would be able to hear them. They were so stressed out from being crammed in to these buildings, and having anyone around. We worked quickly and quietly, but these poor ducks had nowhere to go, no escape by air or by water. They were filthy from living on dirt and feces. It struck me how clean wild birds are. We've all seen them preening, and generally always looking shiny and gorgeous. These ducks lived in filth. They had no water to swim or bathe in. No skies to soar in to. Just dark buildings, crammed in together by the thousands.
Scattered amongst the living were the dead and dying. It's always like this at farms that raise birds. Birds who can't reach water, birds who have been trampled. It's sad and desperate. It was really hard being in there, with all that suffering. And as always, it's hard leaving them behind, knowing there's nothing we can feasibly do for those thousands of ducks.
Maybe, like me, you didn't know ducks were kept like this. It needs to end and luckily there's a way to end it. We can stop eating them. Easy, right? It is. We just need enough of us to step up and say no, that we won't take part in the intensive farming of living beings.
Let's end this." - Jo
Dead pekin duck at a duck farm. Australia, 2017.
Jo-Anne McArthur/Animal Liberation NSW