Go Veggie

By signing this petition, you are pledging to go "veggie," or to go vegetarian. In his or her lifetime, the average American meat-eater is responsible for the abuse and deaths of some 2,400 animals, including approximately 2,287 chickens, 92 turkeys, 31 pigs, and 12 steers and calves. By going veggie you can help to offset the effects of the environment and the effects of the lives that millions of people take unnecessarily. If you could have the choice to take an innocent life, or not, which one would you choose? Boycott meat to show to the world that you have a conscience and that you disapprove of the awful ways animals are treated before slaughter.
Pigs

With corporate hog factories replacing traditional hog farms, pigs are being treated more as inanimate tools of production than as living, feeling animals.  Pigs are sociable, playful, and emotional animals with high intelligence level.

Approximately 100 million pigs are raised and slaughtered in the U.S. every year. As babies, they are subjected to painful mutilations without anesthesia or pain relievers. The piglets' tails are cut off to minimize tail biting, an aberrant behavior which occurs when these highly intelligent animals are kept in deprived factory farm environments. In addition, notches are taken out of the piglets' ears for identification.

At 2 to 3 weeks of age, the piglets are taken away from their mothers, by which time, approximately 15% will have died. The surviving piglets are crowded into pens with metal bars and concrete floors. A headline from National Hog Farmer magazine advises, "Crowding Pigs Pays..." The pigs endure overcrowded confinement buildings for their entire lives -- until they reach a slaughter weight of 250 pounds at 6 months of age.

The air in hog factories is laden with dust, dander, and noxious gases which are produced by the animals' urine and feces. Studies of workers in swine confinement buildings have found 60 percent to have breathing problems, despite their spending only a few hours a day inside confinement buildings. For pigs, who live their entire lives in factory farm confinement, respiratory disease is rampant.

Modern hog factories are a fertile breeding ground for a wide variety of diseases. A Pork industry report explains: "Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome, or PRRS, was first reported in U.S. herds in 1987. It is now estimated to be in as many as 60 percent of U.S. herds...Swine arthritis has increased in economic importance with confinement rearing, partly because of damage related to flooring conditions and partly because of faster growth rates and lack of exercise... The incidence of salmonellosis has continued to increase. It is estimated that one-third to half of farms have some level of salmonellosis... Epidemic transmissible gastroenteritis, or TGE, is a dreaded disease because it's hard to keep out of herds, there's no effective treatment and it carries a devastating mortality rate in baby pigs. Nearly all pigs less than 10 days old die if infected... Forty to 70 percent of U.S. pigs show evidence of infection with bratislava (a type of Leptospirosis)... Tests indicate 80 percent to 85 percent of sows in major swine producing areas have been exposed to parvovirus."

Modern breeding sows are treated like piglet making machines. Living a continuous cycle of impregnation and birth, the sows each have more than 20 piglets per year. After being impregnated, the sows are confined in small pens or metal gestation crates which are just 2 feet wide. At the end of their 4 month pregnancy, they are transferred to farrowing crates to give birth. The sows barely have room to stand up and lie down, and many suffer from sores on their shoulders. They are denied straw bedding and forced to stand and lie on hard floors. When asked about this, a pork industry representative wrote, "...straw is very expensive and there certainly would not be a supply of straw in the country to supply all the farrowing pens in the U.S."

Numerous research studies conducted over the last 25 years have pointed to physical and psychological maladies experienced by sows in confinement. The unnatural flooring and lack of exercise causes obesity and crippling leg disorders, while the deprived environment results in neurotic coping behaviors such as bar biting, dog sitting, and "mourning."

After giving birth and nursing their young for two to three weeks, the piglets are taken away to be fattened, and the sow is reimpregnated. Hog factories strive to keep their sows '100 % active', as an article in Successful Farming explains, "Any sow that is not gestating, lactating or within seven days post weaning is non-active." When the sow is no longer deemed a productive breeder, she is sent to slaughter.

In addition to experiencing overcrowded housing, sows and pigs also experience crowding in transportation - despite the fact that this crowding causes suffering and deaths. As a hog industry expert writes, "Death losses during transport are too high -- amounting to more than $8 million per year. But it doesn't take a lot of imagination to figure out why we load as many hogs on a truck as we do. It's cheaper. So it becomes a moral issue. Is it right to overload a truck and save $.25 per head in the process, while the overcrowding contributes to the deaths of 80,000 hogs each year?"

Prior to being hung upside down by their back legs and bled to death at the slaughterhouse, pigs are supposed to be 'stunned' and rendered unconscious. However, 'stunning' is terribly imprecise, and this results in conscious animals hanging upside down, kicking and struggling, while a slaughterhouse worker tries to 'stick' them in the neck with a knife. If the worker is unsuccessful, the pig will be carried to the next station on the slaughterhouse assembly line, the scalding tank, where he/she will be boiled alive.

Fish

Fish farming is one of the most intensive forms of animal agriculture. As many as 40,000 fish may be crammed into a cage, with each fish given the equivalent of half a bathtub of water in which to spend its life. The wild salmon migrates thousands of miles, but the caged fish goes nowhere. Instead of streaking through the ocean or leaping up rocky streams, farmed salmon spend 3 years circling lazily in pens, fattening up on pellets of salmon chow. For that rich pink hue fish are given a steady diet of synthetic pigment. Without it, the flesh of these salmon would be an unappetizing, pale gray.

Begun in Norway in the late 60%u2019s, salmon farming has spread rapidly to cold-water inlets around the globe. Worried about the environmental toll, British Columbia imposed a ban in 1995 on any new farms. The industry responded by stuffing on average, twice as many fish into each farm. Today farms typically put 50,000 to 90,000 fish in a pen 100 feet by 100 feet. A single farm can grow 400,000 fish. Some raise a million or more. The moratorium on new farms was lifted in September 2002 under pressure from the industry. As a result, 10 to15 farms are expected to open each year over the next decade.

Many farms are using sturdier nets to stop fish from escaping and to keep intruding sea lions out. The sea lions are shot if they penetrate the perimeter.  Intensive man-made shrimp farms have been equally staggering. In Ecuador for example, 500,000 acres have been given over to shrimp farms with 80 percent of the shrimp exported, more than half going to the United States. The costs of this growth include coastal pollution, displacement of local people from their land, and the clearing of large tracts of coastal mangrove forests.

The ecological destruction caused by fish farming, particularly of shrimp is so great that a report published in 2000 by New Internationalist compared the environmental destruction caused by fish farming to that caused by replacing tropical forests with cattle ranches. Independent studies conducted in Canada, Scotland and the United States found that farmed fish contained much higher levels of pollutants, including ten times more PCBs and cancer causing toxins than wild fish. Fish wastes and uneaten feed smother the sea floor beneath these farms, generating bacteria that consume oxygen vital to shellfish and other bottom-dwelling sea creatures.

Disease and parasites run rampant in densely packed fish farms.  Deadly sea lice infestation are common. Pesticides are fed to the fish and toxic copper sulphate is used to kill algae that build up on the nets. Antibiotics have created resistant strains of disease that infect both wild and domesticated fish.

Of all the concerns, the biggest turns out to be a problem fish farms were supposed to alleviate the depletion of marine life from over fishing. The fish farms contribute to the problem because the captive salmon must be fed. It takes about 2.4 pounds of wild fish to produce one pound of farmed salmon, according to Rosamond L. Naylor, an agricultural economist at Stanford%u2019s Center for Environmental Science and Policy. That means grinding up a lot of sardines, anchovies, mackerel, herring and other fish to produce the oil and meal compressed into pellets of salmon chow.

Fish Farming is not taking the strain off wild fisheries. On the contrary, it is a practice that unsustainable. About 1 million salmon which are favored by farmers because they grow fast and can be packed in tight quarters have escaped through holes in nets in the Pacific Northwest. Biologists fear these invaders will out-compete Pacific salmon and trout for food and territory, hastening the demise of the native fish. An Atlantic salmon takeover could knock nature%u2019s balance out of whack and turn a healthy diverse habitat into one dominated by a single invasive species. Preserving diversity is essential because multiple species of salmon have a better chance of surviving than just one.

The prospect of genetically modified salmon that can grow six times faster than normal fish has heightened anxiety. Critics fear that these "frankenfish" will escape and pose an even greater danger to native species than the Atlantic salmon. Also worrisome to vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike is the experimentation involving splicing fish genes with tomatoes and other plant-based foods.

Meanwhile, 22 million tons of wild fish were used by the livestock industry for pig and cow feed in 1997. That is a figure greater than the combined weight of the entire human population of the United States.

Cows and CalvesCows

Since the 1980's a series of mergers and acquisitions has resulted in concentrating over 80% of the 35 million beef cattle slaughtered annually in the U.S. into the hands of four huge corporations.

Many beef cattle are born and/or live on the range, foraging and fending for themselves, for months or even years. They are not adequately protected against inclement weather, and they may die of dehydration or freeze to death. Injured, ill, or otherwise ailing animals do not receive necessary veterinary attention. One common malady afflicting beef cattle is called "cancer eye." Left untreated, the cancer eats away at the animal's eye and face, eventually producing a crater in the side of the animal's head.

Accustomed to roaming unimpeded and unconstrained, range cattle are frightened and confused when humans come to round them up. Injuries often result as terrified animals are corralled and packed onto cattle trucks. Many will experience additional transportation and handling stress at stockyards and auctions where they are goaded through a series of walkways and holding pens and sold to the highest bidder. From the auction, older cattle may be taken directly to slaughter, or they may be taken to a feedlot. Younger animals, and breeding age cows, may go back to the range.

Ranchers still identify cattle the same way they have since pioneer days, with hot iron brands. Needless to say, this practice is extremely traumatic and painful, and the animals bellow loudly as ranchers' brands are burned into their skin. Beef cattle are also subjected to waddling, another type of identification marking. This painful procedure entails cutting chunks out of the hide which hangs under the animals' necks. Waddling marks are supposed to be large enough so that ranchers can identify their cattle from a distance.

Most beef cattle spend the last few months of their lives at feedlots, crowded by the thousand into dusty, manure laden holding pens. The air is thick with harmful bacteria and particulate matter, and the animals are at a constant risk for respiratory disease. Feedlot cattle are routinely implanted with growth promoting hormones, and they are fed unnaturally rich diets designed to fatten them quickly and profitably. Because cattle are biologically suited to eat a grass-based, high fiber diet, their concentrated feedlot rations contribute to metabolic disorders.

Cattle may be transported several times during their lifetimes, and they may travel hundreds or even thousands of miles during a single trip. Long journeys are very stressful and contribute to disease. The Drover's Journal reports, "Shipping fever costs livestock producers as much as $1 billion a year."

Young cattle are commonly taken to areas with cheap grazing land, to take advantage of this inexpensive feed source. Upon reaching maturity, they are trucked to a feedlot to be fattened and readied for slaughter. Eventually, all of them will end up at the slaughterhouse.

At a standard beef slaughterhouse, 250 cattle are killed every hour. As the assembly line speeds up, workers are rushed, and it becomes increasingly difficult to treat animals with any semblance of humaneness. A Meat & Poultry article states, "Good handling is extremely difficult if equipment is 'maxed out' all the time. It is impossible to have a good attitude toward cattle if employees have to constantly overexert themselves, and thus transfer all that stress right down to the animals, just to keep up with the line."

Prior to being hung up by their back legs and bled to death, cattle are supposed to be rendered unconscious. This 'stunning' is usually done by a mechanical blow to the head. The procedure is terribly imprecise, and inadequate stunning is inevitable. The result of poor stunning is conscious animals hanging upside down, kicking and struggling, while a slaughterhouse worker makes another attempt to render them unconscious. Eventually, the animals will be "stuck" in the throat with a knife, and blood will gush from their bodies whether or not they are unconscious.


Dairy Cows

Traditional small dairies, located primarily in the northeast and Midwest are going out of business. They are being replaced by intensive 'dry lot' dairies which are typically located in the southwest.

Regardless of where they live, however, all dairy cows must give birth in order to begin producing milk. Today, dairy cows are forced to have a calf every year. Like human beings, the cow's gestation period is nine months long, and so giving birth every twelve months is physically demanding. The cows are also forced to give milk during seven months of their nine month pregnancy. In a healthy environment, cows would live in excess of 25 years, but on modern dairies, they are slaughtered after just 3 or 4 years and then used for ground beef.

With genetic manipulation and intensive production technologies, it is common for modern dairy cows to produce 100 pounds of milk a day -- ten times more than they would produce in nature. The cows' bodies are under constant stress and they are at risk for numerous health problems.

Approximately half of the country's dairy cows suffer from mastitis, a bacterial infection of their udders. This is such a common and costly ailment that a dairy industry group, the National Mastitis Council, was formed specifically to combat the disease. Other diseases, such as Bovine Leukemia Virus, Bovine Immunodeficiency Virus, and Johne's disease (whose human counterpart is Crohn's disease), are also rampant on modern dairies, but they are difficult to detect or have a long incubation period, and they commonly go unnoticed.

A cow eating a normal grass diet could not produce milk at the abnormal levels expected on modern dairies, and so today's dairy cows must be given high energy feeds. The unnaturally rich diet causes metabolic disorders including ketosis, which can be fatal, and laminitis, which causes lameness.

Another dairy industry disease caused by intensive milk production is "Milk Fever." This ailment is caused by calcium deficiency, and it occurs when milk secretion uses calcium faster than it can be replenished in the blood.

Although the dairy industry is familiar with the cows' health problems and suffering associated with intensive milk production, it continues to subject cows to even worse abuses in the name of increased profit. Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH), a synthetic hormone, is now being injected into cows to get them to produce even more milk. Besides adversely affecting the cows' health, BGH also increases birth defects in their calves.


Calves

Calves born to dairy cows are separated from their mothers immediately after birth. Half of the dairy calves born are female, and they are raised to replace older dairy cows in the milking herd. The other half of the calves are male, and because they will never produce milk, they are raised and slaughtered for meat. Most are killed for beef, but about one million are used for veal.

The veal industry was created as a by-product of the dairy industry to take advantage of an abundant supply of unwanted male calves. Veal calves live for up to sixteen weeks in small wooden crates where they cannot turn around, stretch their legs, or even lie down comfortably. The calves are fed a liquid milk substitute which is deficient in iron and fiber and designed to make the animals anemic. It is this anemia which results in the light colored flesh which is prized as veal. In addition to this high priced veal, some calves are killed at just a few days old to be sold as low grade 'bob' veal for products like frozen TV dinners.

Veal is a by-product of the dairy industry. In order for dairy cows to produce milk, they must be impregnated and give birth. Half of the calves born are female, and they are used to replace older cows in the milking herd. The other half are male, and because they are of no use to the dairy industry, most are used for beef or veal.

Within moments of birth, male calves born on dairies are taken away from their mothers and loaded onto trucks. Many are sold through auction rings where they are subjected to transportation and handling stresses. The fragile animals are shocked and kicked, and when they can no longer walk, they are dragged by their legs or even their ears.

Every year, approximately one million calves are confined in crates measuring just two feet wide. They are chained by the neck to restrict all movement, making it is impossible for them to turn around, stretch, or even lie down comfortably. This severe confinement makes the calves' meat "tender" since the animals muscles cannot develop.

Published scientific research indicates that calves confined in crates experience "chronic stress" and require approximately five times more medication than calves living in more spacious conditions. It is not surprising then, that veal is among the most likely meat to contain illegal drug residues which pose a threat to human health.

Researchers have also reported that calves confined in crates exhibit abnormal coping behaviors associated with frustration. These include head tossing, head shaking, kicking, scratching, and stereotypical chewing behavior. Confined calves also experience leg and joint disorders and an impaired ability to walk.

In addition to restricting the animals' movement, veal producers severely limit what their animals can eat. The calves are fed an all liquid milk-substitute which is purposely deficient in iron and fiber. It is intended to produce borderline anemia and the pale colored flesh fancied by 'gourmets.' At approximately sixteen weeks of age, these weak animals are slaughtered and marketed as "white" veal (also known as "fancy," "milk-fed," "special fed," and "formula fed" veal). Besides the expensive veal which comes from calves who are kept in small wooden crates, "bob" veal is the flesh of calves who may be slaughtered at just a few hours or days old. While these calves are spared intensive confinement, they are still subjected to inhumane transport, handling, and slaughter, and many die before reaching the slaughterhouse.

 

Turkeys

With a growing number of consumers switching from red meat to poultry, the chicken and turkey industries are booming. In addition to selling a growing quantity of poultry meat to consumers in the U.S., poultry companies are also benefiting from expanding markets around the world.

Record numbers of chickens and turkeys are being raised and killed for meat in the U.S. every year. Nearly ten billion chickens, and half a billion turkeys, are being hatched in the U.S. every year. These birds are typically crowded by the thousand into huge factory-like warehouses where they can barely move. Chickens are given less than half a square foot of space per bird while turkeys are each given less than three square feet. Both chickens and turkeys have the end of their beaks cut off, and turkeys also have their toes clipped. All of these mutilations are performed without anaesthesia, and they are done in order to reduce injuries which result when stressed birds are driven to fighting.

Like meat type chickens, commercial turkeys also suffer from genetic manipulation. In addition to having been altered to grow fast and large, commercial turkeys have been anatomically manipulated to have large breasts to meet consumer demand for breast meat. As a result, turkeys cannot mount and reproduce naturally, and so their sole means of reproduction is artificial insemination. Like meat chickens, turkeys are susceptible to heart disease, and their legs have difficulty supporting their overweight bodies. An industry journal laments..." turkeys have been bred to grow faster and heavier but their skeletons haven't kept pace, which causes 'cowboy legs'. Commonly, the turkeys have problems standing and fall and are trampled on or seek refuge under feeders, leading to bruises and downgradings as well as culled or killed birds."

Chickens and turkeys are taken to the slaughterhouse in crates stacked on the back of trucks. The birds are either pulled from the crates, or the crates are lifted off the truck, often with a crane or forklift, and then the birds are dumped onto a conveyor belt. As the birds are unloaded, some fall onto the ground instead of landing on the assemblyline conveyor belt. Slaughterhouse workers intent upon 'processing' thousands of birds every hour, don't have the time nor the inclination to pick up individuals who fall through the cracks. Sometimes the birds die after being crushed by machinery or vehicles operating near the unloading area, while in other cases, they may die of starvation or exposure after days without receiving their basic needs.

Once inside the slaughterhouse, fully conscious birds are hung by their feet from metal shackles on a moving rail. The first station on most poultry slaughterhouse assembly lines is the stunning tank, where the birds' heads are submerged in an electrified bath of water. Although poultry is specifically excluded from the Humane Slaughter Act which requires stunning, the practice is common because it immobilizes the birds and expedites assembly line killing.

Stunning procedures are not monitored, and they are often inadequate. Poultry slaughterhouses commonly set the electrical current lower than what is required to render the birds unconscious because of concerns that too much electricity would damage the carcass and diminish its value. The result is that birds are immobilized but are still capable of feeling pain, or they emerge from the stunning tank still conscious.

After passing through the stunning tank, the birds' throats are slashed, usually by a mechanical blade, and blood begins rushing out of their bodies. Inevitably, the blade misses some birds who then proceed to the next station on the assembly line, the scalding tank. Here they are submerged in boiling hot water. Birds missed by the killing blade are boiled alive. This occurs so commonly, affecting millions of birds every year, that the industry has a term for these birds. They are called "redskins."

 

Chickens and HensChickens

With a growing number of consumers switching from red meat to poultry, the chicken and turkey industries are booming. In addition to selling a growing quantity of poultry meat to consumers in the U.S., poultry companies are also benefiting from expanding markets around the world.

Record numbers of chickens and turkeys are being raised and killed for meat in the U.S. every year. Nearly ten billion chickens, and half a billion turkeys, are being hatched in the U.S. every year. These birds are typically crowded by the thousand into huge factory-like warehouses where they can barely move. Chickens are given less than half a square foot of space per bird while turkeys are each given less than three square feet. Both chickens and turkeys have the end of their beaks cut off, and turkeys also have their toes clipped. All of these mutilations are performed without anaesthesia, and they are done in order to reduce injuries which result when stressed birds are driven to fighting.

Today's meat chickens have been genetically altered to grow twice as fast, and twice as large as their ancestors. Pushed beyond their biological limits, hundreds of millions of chickens die every year before reaching slaughter weight at 6 weeks of age. An industry journal explains broilers [chickens] now grow so rapidly that the heart and lungs are not developed well enough to support the remainder of the body, resulting in congestive heart failure and tremendous death losses. Modern meat type chickens also experience crippling leg disorders, as their legs are not capable of supporting their abnormally heavy bodies. Confined in unhealthy factory farms, the birds also succumb to heat prostration, infectious disease, and cancer.

Chickens and turkeys are taken to the slaughterhouse in crates stacked on the back of trucks. The birds are either pulled from the crates, or the crates are lifted off the truck, often with a crane or forklift, and then the birds are dumped onto a conveyor belt. As the birds are unloaded, some fall onto the ground instead of landing on the assemblyline conveyor belt. Slaughterhouse workers intent upon 'processing' thousands of birds every hour, don't have the time nor the inclination to pick up individuals who fall through the cracks. Sometimes the birds die after being crushed by machinery or vehicles operating near the unloading area, while in other cases, they may die of starvation or exposure after days without receiving their basic needs.

Once inside the slaughterhouse, fully conscious birds are hung by their feet from metal shackles on a moving rail. The first station on most poultry slaughterhouse assembly lines is the stunning tank, where the birds' heads are submerged in an electrified bath of water. Although poultry is specifically excluded from the Humane Slaughter Act which requires stunning, the practice is common because it immobilizes the birds and expedites assembly line killing.

Stunning procedures are not monitored, and they are often inadequate. Poultry slaughterhouses commonly set the electrical current lower than what is required to render the birds unconscious because of concerns that too much electricity would damage the carcass and diminish its value. The result is that birds are immobilized but are still capable of feeling pain, or they emerge from the stunning tank still conscious.

After passing through the stunning tank, the birds' throats are slashed, usually by a mechanical blade, and blood begins rushing out of their bodies. Inevitably, the blade misses some birds who then proceed to the next station on the assembly line, the scalding tank. Here they are submerged in boiling hot water. Birds missed by the killing blade are boiled alive. This occurs so commonly, affecting millions of birds every year, that the industry has a term for these birds. They are called "redskins."


Hens

Approximately 300 million egg laying hens in the U.S. are confined in battery cages -- small wire cages stacked in tiers and lined up in rows in huge warehouses. The USDA recommends giving each hen four inches of 'feeder space,' which means the agency would advise packing 4 hens in a cage just 16 inches wide. The birds cannot stretch their wings or legs, and they cannot fulfill normal behavioral patterns or social needs. Constantly rubbing against the wire cages, they suffer from severe feather loss, and their bodies are covered with bruises and abrasions.

 

Practically all laying hens have part of their beaks cut off in order to reduce injuries resulting from excessive pecking, an aberrant behavior which occurs when the confined hens are bored and frustrated. De-beaking is a painful procedure which involves cutting through bone, cartilage, and soft tissue.

Laying more than 250 eggs per year each, laying hens' bodies are severely taxed. They suffer from "fatty liver syndrome" when their liver cells, which work overtime to produce the fat and protein for egg yolks, accumulate extra fat. They also suffer from what the industry calls 'cage layer fatgue,' and many die of egg bound when their bodies are too weak to pass another egg.

Osteporosis is another common ailment afflicting egg laying hens as the birds to lose more calcium to form egg shells than they can assimilate from their diets. One industry journal (Feedstuffs) explains, "...the laying hen at peak eggshell cannot absorb enough calcium from her diet..." While another (Lancaster Farming) states, "... a hen will use a quantity of calcium for yearly egg production that is greater than her entire skeleton by 30-fold or more." Inadequate calcium contrbutes to broken bones, paralysis, and death.

After one year in egg production, the birds, are classified as 'spent hens', and sent off to slaughter. They usually end up in soups, pot pies, or similar low grade chicken meat products where their bodies can be shredded to hide the bruises from consumers. The hens' brittle, calcium-depleted bones often shatter during handling and/or at the slaughterhouse.

With a growing supply of broiler chickens keeping slaughterhouses busy, egg producers have had to find new ways to dispose of spent hens. One entrepreneur has developed the Jet-Pro system to turn spent hens into animal feed. It is described in Feedstuffs, "Company trucks would enter layer operations, pick up the birds, and grind them up, on site, in a portable grinder... it (the ground up hens) would go to Jet-Pro's new extruder-texturizer, the " Pellet Pro."

In some cases, especially if the cost of replacement hens is high, the hens may be force molted. This process involves starving the hens for up to 18 days, keeping them in the dark, and denying them water to shock their bodies into another egg laying cycle. The birds may lose more than 25% of their body weight during the molt, and it is common for between 5% and 10% to die.

For every egg laying hen confined in a battery cage, there is a male chick who was killed at the hatchery. Because egg laying chicken breeds have been selected exclusively for maximum egg producton, they don't grow fast enough or large enough to be raised profitably for meat. Therefore, male chicks of egg laying breeds are of no economic value. They are literally discarded on the day they hatch - usually by the least expensive and most convenient means available. They may be thrown in trash cans where they are suffocated or crushed under the weight of others.

A common method used to dispose of unwanted male chicks is grinding them up alive. This method can result in unspeakable horrors as a research scientist described, "Even after twenty seconds, there were only partly damaged animals with whole skulls." In other words, fully conscious chicks were partially ground up. Eyewitness accounts at commercial hatcheries indicate similar horrors with chicks being slowly dismembered on augers carrying them towards a trash bin or manure spreader.


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