Poultry be warned: Teens are legion. Photo via Flickr user Elizabeth Prata
When news emerged late last week that unknown persons had broken into a Fresno, California, Foster Farms poultry plant and killed 920 chickens with a golf club – and possibly another blunt object – I could feel my adult acne tingle. I didn't know it for sure just yet, but I had a strong suspicion of who the culprits were: teens. Sadly, I was correct. This week, an 18-year-old, two 17-year-olds, and a 15-year-old were arrested for the crime.
For reasons of taste and humanity, we in the news media do not speculate about certain things, like how exactly anyone – even a quartet of highly motivated teens – could kill nearly 1,000 birds with a golf club. I'm not saying that they should be celebrated for their animal cruelty, but there's no question that it's an achievement. I've never killed a chicken, so I have no idea how difficult it is. I have been to a driving range, though, and I know that after a few dozen swings, your arms get pretty tired. Even if we assume these boys each killed the same number of birds, we're still talking a few hundred hard strokes each. Plus, it must have taken hours. Not to mention the sound, and the smell, and all the bodily fluids. As Fresno County Deputy Chris Curtice told CBS News, "You can't do that much damage to animals and not have blood on your clothing."
The whole incident is just completely unfathomable. Really the only thing that we don't have to wonder about is motive, because the only possible explanation for beating nearly a thousand chickens to death with a golf club is that you're nuts. To quote Foster Farms employee Antonio Puentes, "It's crazy that someone would break into the chicken shed to kill them. It's just crazy."
Here's the rest of This Week in Teens:
–Not all teens are animal-slaughtering lunatics! Just this morning, famed 17-year-old activist Malala Yousafzi won the Nobel Peace Prize, making her the youngest-ever winner of that award by 15 years. In 2012 the Pakistani schoolgirl was shot in the head by the Taliban as punishment for blogging in favor of women's right to education. She survived the attack and has continued working as an activist; late last year she met with fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner (remember that?) Barack Obama in the Oval Office and bravely told him that American drones are creating more terrorists. This year, she continued her streak of schooling adults by informing Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan that his country needed to do more to recover the hundreds of schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram. In August, she FaceTimed with ex-teen Justin Bieber. Fun fact: Like most teens, she believes in socialism.
–American teens continue to not live up to Malala's example. At the University of Southern Mississippi, a fraternity scavenger hunt asked participants to take a photo with a flamingo. Frat pledges being frat pledges, they decided to take things to the next level – hell yeah, bro. Now one pledge has been arrested and others are being investigated after they decided to steal a flamingo instead of taking the photograph. That led to the death of both the bird and its mate from injuries sustained during the kidnapping.
–Speaking of things that can no longer fly: In Chicago, a 19-year-old was arrested at O'Hare airport on his way to Turkey. It's alleged that he planned to head to Syria or Iraq and join the Islamic State. This incident led to all sorts of scaremongering, from local news asking if IS is a threat to the homeland to this noxious op-ed from Fox News's Greg Gutfeld arguing that the feds ought to have let him go because he should be thrown out of America “like the stinky garbage he is." While it is scary that an American got caught trying to travel to join IS, the fact is there have been very few of these incidents. According to the FBI, about a dozen US citizens are fighting alongside extremist groups in Syria. That's 12 people out of a 316 million Americans. Given the huge size of America and the relative ease of traveling around the world, it's actually kind of reassuring that more young people haven't tried to join the bloodshed. Good job, teens, at least you aren't joining the most terrifying terrorist army in the world.
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