A Perdue Farms worker was arrested and charged with four felony counts of cruelty to animals. A recent Mercy For Animals investigation into Perdue Farms uncovered disturbing and heartbreaking cruelty to animals, including workers throwing chickens against the walls, violently kicking the birds, and stomping the chickens to death.
Mercy For Animals was able to document the cruelty to the chicken at one of Perdue Farms in North Carolina. The national non-profit organization dedicated to preventing cruelty to farmed animals and promoting compassionate food choices and policies uncovered horrific moving images of thousands of chickens crammed in sheds void of any windows, forced to breathe toxic ammonia fumes, and live in their own waste.
The birds are bred to gain weight faster than their frail bodies can withstand, causing many of the birds to have difficulty in walking. Many of them succumb to heart attacks due to the excessive weight gain. Before the Perdue Farms chickens go to slaughter, workers grab the bird’s legs and violently throw them in crates. Many of the birds suffer broken legs and other injuries.
Mercy For Animals also investigated claims made by Perdue Farms. According to their investigation, Mercy For Animals cites that Perdue Farms claims that all birds can “easily get to food and water.” Perdue Farms — one of the largest poultry producers in the United States – also claims their chickens are “very content,” are raised on “family farms,” and in a “good humane fashion.”
However, Mercy For Animals declares that chickens raised and killed by Perdue Farms have been bred to grow so quickly that they frequently become crippled under their own weight. The birds are unable to walk without experiencing extreme pain, and many of the poor birds die of dehydration at factory farms when they can’t reach water.
Others die from organ failure, heart attacks, and other problems related to rapid growth. Due to the high levels of ammonia and filthy factory farm conditions the chickens are bred in, many of the birds develop deadly respiratory problems, blindness, and severe skin and throat irritations.
Chickens that survive these wretched conditions are haphazardly and violently grabbed by their legs, wings, or necks and brutally slammed into transport crates to be trucked to slaughter. Mercy For Animals notes that at the slaughterhouse, “they are violently shackled upside down, painfully shocked with electricity, and cut open at the throat—often while still conscious and able to feel pain.”
Upon viewing the investigation video obtained by Mercy For Animals, Dr. Lee Schrader, graduate from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine and board certified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, described the behavior she witnessed in the video.
“The behavior seen in this video is some of the most egregious, violent and gratuitous animal cruelty that I have ever witnessed. The rapidity of the forced growth of these birds results in many health problems.”
Bernard E. Rollin, PhD, a bioethicist and professor of philosophy, biomedical sciences, and animal sciences at Colorado State University, describes his reaction to the appalling video.
“The treatment of these animals is unspeakable. The video graphically shows the total disregard the workers show towards these animals. Animals are stomped on, ferociously thrown into walls, kicked as if they were garbage. One also sees animals that have been dead long enough to rot left among the living animals.”
[Photo courtesy of Evans/Three Lions/Getty Images.]
Chickens are as intelligent and friendly as cats and dogs. However, whether for health, dietary, or moral reasons, many people are substituting chicken as a source of protein and meal source and switching to vegetarian.
After viewing this video and other images related to animal cruelty and the spread of diseases, as well as how farm animals are bred, more people are visiting supermarkets and health food stores to find healthy alternatives for food consumption.
People are finding out that they can that cut down on calories, while still replicating the texture and taste of chicken and other meat, while silently protesting the cruel and inhumane treatment of many innocent living creatures.
For instance, chickpeas or garbanzo beans work as a chicken substitute and contain only 269 calories and 4 grams of fat per cup while still providing 15 grams of protein. A sliced eggplant cutlet makes a great chicken substitute, and eggplant contains only 35 calories per cup.
Chickens account for more than 95 percent of the animals killed for food in the U.S. Many people are unaware of the fact that chickens bred to lay eggs are completely different from chickens bred for meat consumption.
Egg-laying hens are bred to remain small to fit in one cage and produce an unnatural quantity of eggs. On the other hand, “meat chickens” or “broilers” are bred to grow extremely fast – so fast that their bones can’t keep up with the weight gain.
Fortune notes that chickens’ bodies are being manipulated by the industry.
“In 1925 the average broiler chicken weighed 2.5 pounds when it went to market at 112 days old. Today the average goes to market after just 48 days at 6.2 pounds—essentially, we’ve created giant chickens.”
Nevertheless, not a single federal law, not even the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, protects these intelligent animals from abuse during their lives on factory farms.
This investigation by Mercy For Animals and the recent arrest of a Perdue Farms worker in North Carolina is a groundbreaking and historic legal move on behalf of the chickens raised for meat.
[Photo courtesy of Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images]