From the moment they are born up to their deaths, chickens are by far the most mistreated animal in our food industry today. The reason behind this animal cruelty lies in the simple fact that there are no laws to protect them, merely because they are birds. Therefore they are treated with horrible cruelty and unlike their counterparts such as cows, pigs, and lambs, for example, they do not benefit from any animal protection laws. Although the fate of all animals raised in our food industries is to end up in a slaughterhouse the unimaginable suffering chickens around the world endure, all well-hidden from the consumer, must and should be stopped.
The demand for chicken meat being on the rise in many countries around the world has thrown the industrial farming of chicken into a gruesome and disgusting practice. From this mass production where 60 billion chickens are raised for meat every year, called “broilers” within the industry, 40 billion spend their entire lives cooped up in filthy sheds with thousands of other birds. Their lifespan, from the hatchery to the slaughterhouse, is only six weeks. They are drugged with antibiotics and endure extreme genetic selection in order to expand their growth rate. Most sheds are so densely packed and extremely filthy that their movements are restricted causing them to experience lameness, skin conditions and lesions, and health disorders such as breathing difficulties, leg injuries, heart conditions, and stress.
Investigators for the World Animal Protection have uncovered overcrowding misery such as chickens being forced to lie in the droppings of others and not being strong enough to survive such horrible conditions, many of them die. Their corpses are often found rotting away in cages, forcing others to cling to their lives while standing on the dead. They are then transported to the slaughterhouse in trucks that are not protected from the heat nor the cold causing much more to die. Not being protected by the Humane Slaughter Act, they are run through electrified water and are still able to feel pain when their throats are cut by a machine. Enough said? I cannot see this as anything but unacceptable.
Being vegan myself I am not supporting this industry in any way and am trying to educate others to do the same. I have replaced chicken with tofu, for example, and am telling all my friends about the state of this industry. Otherwise, there are other solutions such as supporting legislation to end the cruel use of the confinement system as well as the unethical killing of chickens.
There are many organizations where you can sign petitions for the welfare and the rights of industrially farmed chicken. I urge you to visit the World Animal Protection site and sign their petition or better yet – stop eating chicken!