According to a recent NYT article, almost nine billion chickens will be slaughtered this year in the United States alone. An eye opening investigation by Compassion in World Farming, an animal rights group, illustrates the unfathomable conditions under which chickens are raised, and a graphic video shows many of the poor creatures wasting away from gangrenous dermatitis, the number one health problem in most chicken production facilities today. Mike Weaver, a West Virginia chicken farmer states that "the birds just rot away."
Unfortunately, this is quite a common predicament. Modern chickens are bred to have huge breasts, and mutant-sized wings with rampant genetic mutation and antibiotic usage. They often grow so big that their small frame and legs can’t handle the weight of their own bodies, and their legs often become splayed or broken as a result. Many chickens are unable to walk. As Leah Garces of Compassion states, “Chickens have a cage. It’s their own body.”
Additionally, the Agriculture Department calculates that around 700,000 chickens a year are “not slaughtered correctly” in the U.S. In the slaughtering process, chickens are hung upside down, have their throats cut, and are then dumped into hot water. More often than not, the process goes awry and the birds are scalded alive.
This raises real and frightening concerns about what consumers are really eating, as poultry production carries huge environmental and blatant ethical concerns. Thankfully, you can make a direct difference by decreasing your consumption of not only chicken, but other meats as well. Make the most of your buying power and speak out against inhumane livestock production by choosing to eat less meat. It's up to us as consumers to pressure those who provide us with our meat to do so responsibly.
View the video for yourself below. Viewer discretion is advised.
Written by Donna Chen