Have You Ever Wondered Why Chickens are Considered the Most Abused Animals on the Planet? Here’s Why.
India is now the world’s third-largest egg producer, that too, at the cost of having some of the cruellest practices of poultry farming. Intensive and brutal farming methods take place every single day to maximise chicken-derived products, without any consideration of the well being of these animals. Here is the shocking truth about poultry farming.
DID YOU KNOW THAT CHICKENS ARE ONE OF THE MOST INTELLIGENT AND EMOTIONAL ANIMALS?
Chickens are an intelligent and sensitive species with distinct personalities. Their communication is complex, with at least 24 different types of recorded vocalisations. Research has shown that the cognitive capabilities of chickens are comparable to mammals such as cats, dogs, and even primates. For example, chickens are capable of comprehending object permanence (understanding that objects exist even when they can’t see, hear, touch, taste or sense them), which exceeds even the cognitive abilities of infant humans. Newborn chicks can perform complex mathematical operations, distinguish quantities, and tell left from right – just like humans. There is also strong evidence of the emotional capacities of chickens. Mother hens display their capacity for empathy when they observe their chicks experiencing stress, and as a result, exhibit signs of stress themselves.
THE HORRIFIC LIVING CONDITIONS IN EGG FACTORIES
The majority of all laying hens live in conventional battery cages. These cages provide each bird with a mere 550 cm² of space – smaller than an A4 sized sheet of paper. In these battery cages, cramped conditions prevent hens from being able to satisfy their most basic physical and instinctual needs: walking, stretching their wings, sand bathing, and foraging.
In barn systems, chickens live together so densely that 9 chickens are forced to share one square metre of space. Laying flocks in these barns often reach huge sizes. This leads to immense stress and constant conflict between hens, with the cramped conditions preventing weaker individuals from being able to escape more dominant and aggressive individuals.
Counterintuitively, ‘free-range’ chickens spend most of their time in conditions very similar to those of barn systems. In practice, doors to the outside are closed on some days, and high stocking densities prevent chickens in the back of the barn from being able to access the door. Additionally, hens may avoid outdoor areas if there is no shelter or vegetation, as they fear being exposed to predators.
In most egg factories, chicks have their beaks trimmed at a young age to prevent them from pecking at and cannibalising each other as they grow older, behaviour which is triggered by high stocking densities. Debeaking modifies the chicks’ bodies to suit an unnatural and stress-inducing environment, rather than modifying the environment to accommodate the basic needs of the chickens. The most common method of debeaking is to use a hot blade to cut off the chicks’ beaks. Alternatively, the chicks’ beaks are pressed against a hot metal plate, burning them off. In both cases, these procedures are performed without anaesthetics. Chicks endure severe pain during this experience and can develop chronic beak pain or sensitivity that lasts for the rest of their lives.
Because males cannot lay eggs, and their breeding makes them unprofitable to raise for meat, male chicks are considered worthless to the egg industry. Consequently, on the first day of their lives, male chicks are separated from their sisters and killed. The two most common methods of slaughter are suffocation or being shredded alive in a grinder.
DID YOU KNOW EATING EGGS CAN BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH?
The consumption of eggs is associated with many health risks. For example, eggs have high cholesterol content and can promote atherosclerosis, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Due to the poor conditions that chickens live in, eggs are the perfect host for salmonella, which can cause diseases in humans and other animal species. Food scandals such as eggs contaminated with dioxin or fipronil explain why consumers are increasingly cutting their egg consumption or switching completely to healthier plant-based alternatives.
According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, “the fat and cholesterol found in eggs can harm heart health and lead to prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, and diabetes. About 60 percent of the calories in eggs are from fat—much of which is saturated fat. Eggs are also loaded with cholesterol—about 200 milligrams for an average-sized egg” (PCRM)
So yes, there are several reasons to consider eliminating eggs from your diet. They come at a high cost to our health, as well as animal welfare. But you do not have to worry! You can take care of your health and satisfy your egg cravings by switching to egg alternatives that are readily available in the market.
So what are you waiting for? Check this out right away to transform your health and save some lives!
Interested in knowing more? To access the full article, please visit Proveg – Chickens: laying hens in egg factories