The average American eats more than 75lbs of chicken a year. But what most don't know is that this chicken comes at a high cost that is hidden from consumers. When we buy chicken from a store or restaurant its hard to remember that this meat comes from an animal. Most don't know how this meat is produced, we see the end product, cut and shrink wrapped or battered and deep fried.
You may have an idea of what a chicken looks like in your head from long ago where they are plucking, clucking, around in the grass. But for the vast majority of the 8 billion chickens consumed each year, their lives are far from this natural setting. Undercover investigations from two of the country's top chicken producers, Tyson and Purdue have revealed horrific detail on the lives of chickens they produce. The conditions of chicken life in these places is not uncommon, they are industry standard. The life of a broiler chicken, a chicken raised and killed for meat, begins in a large commercial incubator where chicks are hatched by the thousands. They never meet their mothers. The chicks are boxed into crates and then dumped into long warehouses with tens of thousands of other chicks. In the 1950's, it took 84 days to raise a 5 pound chicken, but now because of genetic selection and growth promoting drugs it now takes an average of only 45 days. University of Arkansas researches say "if we grew as fast as a chicken, we would weigh 345 pounds by age 2." On the factory farm, the chickens will not once step outdoors or breath fresh air, instead they will become increasingly overcrowded as they grow at accelerated rates on an unnatural diet including manure and the remains of other chickens. A leading problem of genetic fast growth is a high number of leg development problems. More than 20% of broiler chickens suffer from cronic pain as a result of bone disease making it difficult for some chicks to reach the water dispensers resulting in death from...
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