Live Your Animal Ethics
Believe it or not, the chickens pictured above are only five months old! They arrived here as tiny yellow chicks in late January after they were rescued from a factory farm near Dallas.
Every year worldwide, 51.4 billion chickens are artificially hatched, fattened up, and slaughtered at 42 days in farms like the one shown at the top of the page. A “normal” chicken’s lifespan is 10–15 years. Chickens and turkeys together represent 99% of land animals slaughtered for food in the U.S.
Chickens bred for meat are arguably the most genetically manipulated of all animals, forced to grow 65 times faster than their bodies normally would, and the industry continually seeks to increase their growth rate.
Chickens are housed in giant, over-crowded sheds, where they are packed in by the thousands and forced to stand and sit on manure-laden flooring, typically cleaned out only every 2–4 years. “Free range” is a meaningless term in this sense, since almost all chickens raised for meat are uncaged.
Heart failure afflicts chickens at a rate of at least 4.7% and is attributed to genetic manipulation, but this figure only covers birds within their first 42 days of life. The rate of heart failure increases in the weeks to come. Their hearts cannot keep up with their adult-sized bodies. “Ammonia burn,” respiratory diseases, and fatalities are common from exposure to high concentrations of ammonia emanating from large accumulations of feces.
After six weeks, chickens are violently cornered by “catchers,” who grab terrified chickens by their feet and roughly stuff them into crates. In the process they suffer broken legs and wings, lacerations, hemorrhage, dehydration, heat stroke, hypothermia, and heart failure. Millions die before even reaching the slaughterhouse—and they’re the lucky ones. Please consider giving up eating animals. It’s never been easier. #GoVegan