Vegan Fridays

We shouldn’t be eating chickens.

The luxury we have when it comes to our food is that we don’t get to see how it’s made. We receive it all nicely packaged at the grocery store or market without having to think about how it got there. Ignorance allows us to eat without guilt. Ignorance, however, does not make a change in our eating habits and the food industry.

Do you know what happens to chickens? Do you know how gross it is?

As part of my WHY GO VEGAN Series, today we are talking about chickens.

Large numbers of birds in captivity create disease. In fact all the major recent “plagues” have come from keeping animals in captivity, but birds are especially worrisome. When a large amount of chickens are put into a tight space, it’s a breeding ground for bacteria, including salmonella and E. coli. In fact, research from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention found 85 percent of urinary tract infections are caused by E. coli bacteria found in chicken. Chicken handling is important because it gets so many people so sick every year. But you can avoid this simply by avoiding chicken.

IF you’re around chickens long enough, you start to see that they each have their own personality. My chickens are so smart. they always say hi to me when I come out in the morning. They have their own little cycles and their own little hierarchy. and they are super sweet and curious little ladies…

When I tell people I am a vegan, often they tell me how the “only” eat chicken and rarely eat red meat. And while I applaud anyone for eating less meat. Telling me you only eat chicken, doesn’t give me any respect for you. I wish you didn’t eat chicken at all. You’re still contributing to murder of innocent animals, so please don’t “brag” about “only” eating chicken to a vegan.

Quite simply, chickens are the most abused animals on the planet. It’s like the “go to” meat. In the United States, approximately 9 billion chickens are killed for their flesh each year, and 305 million hens are used for their eggs. The vast majority of these animals spend their lives in total confinement—from the moment they hatch until the day they are killed. Because male chickens do not lay eggs and only those in breeding programs are required to fertilize eggs, they are considered redundant to the egg-laying industry and are usually killed shortly after being sexed, which occurs just days after they are conceived or after they hatch. Often baby chicks are just ground up into dog food. They are ground up alive. there are plenty of footage of this, is public available knowledge that birds are killed horribly, but its ok because chicken tastes good? how sad is that?

Most chickens spend their entire lives in filthy sheds with tens of thousands of other birds, each getting less space than a sheet of paper, where intense crowding and confinement lead to outbreaks of disease. Adult chickens can have trouble breathing and standing upright and will even topple forward because they’ve been bred to have abnormally large breasts.

These are living animals, why are we so cruel to them?

Now I want to put a disclaimer that I personally have 4 pet Chickens. So my view is very jaded in that I have these animals as pets and person experience seeing how wonderful they are. YouME, Cat, Fat face and Selena. My chickens are big sweeties. I love them so. They produce a lot of eggs, that we give away. Sometimes their eggs get baked into cakes but that as far as non vegan as I go. I try to give my chickens their best life. It’s great to have a place to put our scraps, they love scraps. And Selena lets me pick her up so if I am doing yard work and there are alot of cockroaches I can get her and she will happily eat them for me. I love my chickens dearly. They get lots of treats and live a super posh life, they have a beautiful yard and plenty of space. I think when people hear “free range” they think the eggs they are getting are like mine. But I promise you that is not the case.

Most chicken meat comes from “broiler” chickens, bred to grow unnaturally big and fast. That is not the case with egg-laying hens, which have been bred to put all their energy toward laying. Consequently, when their egg output begins to wane, they have so little meat on them that they often don’t enter the human food supply and are instead used as pet food, feed for other factory-farmed animals, or simply “landfilled.” This is why egg producers cull male chicks: The males from the leaner breeds used in egg production cost more to feed and house than they would ever sell for as meat, so they’re economically useless to the industry.

Only seven weeks after they’re born, chickens are crowded onto trucks that transport them to the slaughterhouse. Every year, tens of millions of chickens have their wings and legs broken in the process. They are trucked through all weather extremes, sometimes over hundreds of miles, without any food or water. At slaughter, chickens are hung upside down and have their throats slit, and they’re often scalded to death in defeathering tanks.

Many brag to me about eating chicken as the healthier option but…. Eating chicken, isn’t necessarily the “healthier” choice. Eating meat is bad for your health. So many studies have proved eating meat is bad for you. So many studies have shown you can get your essential amino acids on a vegan diet.

The argument is red meat is high in cholesterol. But all meat is high in cholesterol. Many people swap red meats for chicken in a bid to lower their cholesterol levels and be healthier – but they could be wasting their time. Top plant-based physician Dr. Michael Greger has looked at the information – and concluded that the impact of beef on human cholesterol isn’t necessarily much worse than that of poultry and fish. He says: “Switching from red meat to white meat likely wouldn’t make any difference [to cholesterol]. And that’s really no surprise given how fat we’ve genetically modified chickens to be these days – up to 10 times more fat than they used to have a century ago. So there’s a number of cuts of beef that have less cholesterol-raising saturated fat than chicken.” which ok gross.

There are little to no cruelty regulations in the chicken industry. In fact, birds have officially been exempted from the ‘Humane Methods of Slaughter Act’. “The U.S. Department of Agriculture exempts birds from its enforcement of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, which requires that farm animals be insensible to pain before they’re shackled and killed,” according to the Humane Society of the United States. Around 9 billion chickens and turkeys are killed for meat each year in the U.S. alone. These sentient animals spend their entire lives in total confinement; more chickens are raised and killed for food than all other land animals combined. Once at the slaughterhouse, the birds are hung upside down and their throats are cut open by machines. The chickens are then immersed in scalding-hot water for feather removal – and they are fully conscious throughout the entire process.

Even tho, it doesn’t matter how intelligent a living animal is, they still shouldn’t be eaten. But chickens are really smart! As a highly inquisitive and intelligent species (which can be as smart as cats and dogs), chickens are ‘good at solving problems’, according to animal behaviorist Dr. Chris Evans. They are also able to comprehend that recently hidden objects still exist.  Chickens have their own social hierarchies, form friendships, and they love and care for their young. Talking about chickens’ capabilities, Evans said: “As a trick at conferences, I sometimes list these attributes, without mentioning chickens, and people think I’m talking about monkeys.”

The slaughtering of birds on such a massive scale pollutes land, air, and water with deceased carcasses, feces, heavy metals, chemicals, bacteria, parasites, pathogen cysts, and viruses. Poultry slaughterhouses release large amounts of waste into the environment, polluting land and surface waters – as well as posing a serious threat to humans. The leaching of nitrate and pathogen transfers to groundwater also affects the quality of our drinking water. Wildlife habitat is also destroyed to make space for new slaughtering plants, therefore resulting in biodiversity losses.

Often here I get the argument of but I only eat “free range chicken” argument. If you’re thinking that you’ll just switch to ‘free-range’, ‘organic’, or ‘humanely-raised’ chicken?  Think again. In reality, factory farming accounts for 99.9 percent of chickens raised for meat in the U.S. Even if the chickens have been raised on free-range and organic farms, chickens often spend just as much time confined to crowded spaces as those on conventional farms. often human language is a clever marketing ploy to get consumers to “feel better” about the killing of animals.

It makes you think about all the time and money spent on marketing to use language like “free-range” and “organic” and the hideously contradictory “humanely slaughtered” phrases, because what the meat industry is doing is torture and murder they have to package it with better phrases. It kinda makes you sick to your stomach right?

Choose the vegan option. Save a life.

If you are interested in going vegan I have a free Vegan guide HERE.