Did you know that chickens are curious, interesting animals who are as intelligent as cats, dogs, and even some primates? They are very social and like to spend their days together, scratching for food, taking dust baths, roosting in trees, and lying in the sun.
Yet chickens are also one of the most abused animals on the planet.
Most chickens used for eggs are confined to tiny cages known as battery cages. These cages are often only the length and width of a piece of paper, and several birds are crammed into each one! That would be like living your whole life in a space that’s smaller than a bath towel and having to share that space with your entire family. You can’t even take a 10-minute car ride without fighting with your brother or sister at least twice, so just imagine how awful that would be!
To keep the birds from pulling out their feathers or hurting themselves because of the stressful living conditions, workers “debeak” the birds when they are just babies. That means they use a hot blade to sear off the tips of the birds’ beaks—without any pain relief.
Because only female chickens are able to produce eggs, male chicks are worthless to the egg industry, and every year millions of them are either tossed into trash bags to suffocate or ground up alive.
Most chickens raised for their flesh are crammed into giant sheds by the thousands. The birds are given drugs that make them grow so large, so quickly that their legs often give out under the weight of their own bodies, leaving the birds crippled and in pain.
When the chickens are just 7 weeks old, they’re crammed onto trucks and sent to the slaughterhouse, where they’re killed for meat.
If you want to help chickens, please don’t eat them! You can find many delish vegan chicken alternatives in your local grocery store, from meatless nuggets to crispy faux-chicken patties to mock chicken salad.
For more information on how you can help chickens, check out A Chicken’s Life online!