Animals as Food
"I became a vegetarian not just for my own health...but for
the health of the chickens." -- Nobel Prize winner Isaac Bashevis
For further information on the threat chicken consumption poses
to human health, see the page entitled Good
For You. As for the health of the chickens:
Broiler chickens are raised in windowless sheds. "Broilers"
almost ready for market, weighing between four and five pounds,
may have as little as half a square foot of space per chicken -
less than the the area of a standard sheet of typing paper. Lighting
is manipulated to control eating and aggressive behavior which stems
from stress, overcrowding, and presumably boredom as the animals
are unable to engage in any of their natural food-searching, scratching
behavior on the concrete floors.
The birds are de-beaked and have their claws clipped and wattles
and combs cut off with a hot knife machine. The machine cuts through
sensitive tissue similar to the quick of a human fingernail.
20% of hens raised in factory farms die of disease or stress.
80% of all poultry are given antibiotics.
Chickens are exempt from the Humane Slaughter Act. At the slaughterhouse
they are hung upside down, fully conscious, on a moving rail. They
are dipped in electrified water which stuns them enough to immobilize
them but not knock them unconscious. A mechanical blade slices their
necks and they bleed to death. However the mechanical blade is far
from 100% effective. Chickens missed and boiled alive are referred
to in the industry as "redskins."
Karen Davis from United Poultry Concerns is a wealth of
information on this issue. To learn more, check out: http://www.upc-online.org/slaughter/report.html