- Chickens are some of the most undefended creatures on the planet
- Humane Slaughter laws do not include chickens
- Jesus compared the attributes of a mother hen (Matthew 23:37 and Luke 13:34).
- The Talmud uses the courtesy of a rooster to suggest how a man should behave towards his wife.
Chickens normally live from 8 to 11 years, with the oldest recorded chicken living 16 years. Yet in modern industrial production methods, male chicks only survive a single day, when they are sent down a chute to an industrial grinder or suffocated. Birds raised for meat are also killed as young children, only 42 days old. But due to special breeding, their poor young bodies grow beyond the ability of their bones and internal organs to support them. They take a step or two, then fall down. They get so stressed in the overcrowded conditions in which they live that they self-mutilate and often peck one another, so their beaks get cut off to limit the damage, without any anesthetic. Their beaks are filled with sensitive nerves so they can find their food; their claws are designed for scratching in the dirt. But these birds never touch dirt and never see the sun. They are kept in enclosed warehouses, in the dark, until they are slaughtered. Then they are caught by grown men who have to empty the ammonia-soaked shed quickly to get them on the trucks. Many arrive with lesions, bruises, and broken legs. The birds are given so many antibiotics that the bacteria become resistant. One woman who raised chickens, Carole Morison, (see Food, Inc.) reported that she became allergic to antibiotics.
Recently there has been a big push for free-range or cage-free eggs, but there is no range and they are not free. Cage-free only means that the birds are overcrowded into ammonia-soaked sheds that are filthy, dusty, and toxic. They are usually slaughtered while children, at about a year. Once they are removed from the shed, usually at night, they are transported on trucks without temperature control to their death. Many die enroute due to hip dislocation and heart attacks; most have high levels of stress hormones in their bloodstream at the time of slaughter.
Disrespect for these animals is seen in the cheap price of their lives. Next time you hear someone called “chicken,” realize that this may in effect be unknowingly a compliment. Gentle, fierce, courteous, protective and family-oriented, they are much more than “nuggets ” or “wings.” Humans have much to learn from the other animal species.
Dan Cudahy – Unpopular Vegan Essays