Life of a Chick

Whether we consume animals or not I believe we all never want to see an animal abused, tortured or slaughtered. I think we all share a common love and affection for animals in some way and if we use love and compassion as our guiding principles we can find ways to eliminate needless harm and slaughter to animals simply to consume them.

I believe there is a disconnection between what we do and consume and what happens to these animals. For most of my life I never made these connections or didn’t want to make them. I did’t want to ‘go there’ thinking what the actual process was or the life these animals had to endure to get to my plate or glass. I just ate it or drank the milk and thought ‘this is the way it is…we all do it.’ Industry also does a great job misleading us how the process works. ‘Cage-free’ as an example means nothing…a useless phrase. And if you hear a defense that there is humane slaughter, ask for an explanation…The reality is quite horrific.

Just over fiver years ago I made the choice to go on a plant-based diet for overall health and performance enhancement reasons, not for the animals. I can easily say today if there was no health or performance detriment in consuming animals I would still be plant-based for the animals and our planet. Over the five years I educated myself about nutrition, animals, and the planet and have learned so much. My intent here and in future posts is to educate about what happens to these voiceless animals in the hopes that we make connections and ultimately save our health, save the animals, and save our planet. Today I’ll share what happens to baby chicks who are here for the sole purpose to produce eggs.

In animal farming, chickens come in two forms. One for laying eggs, sometimes called ‘layers,’ and those for producing meat, sometimes called ‘broilers.’ When an egg producer chick is born this is the process of what happens next:

  • Female chicks are used for egg production (factory farms) for about a year
    • Born in an incubator and never sees their mother
    • Beaks are cut with a hot knife
    • Live in a cage so tight it’s hard to turn around and many never see the sun
      • Exist on top of a bed of feces with some dead chickens who just couldn’t survive
    • After one year of production they are slaughtered
  • Male chicks cannot produce eggs so they are deemed useless to the farm/egg industry
    • On day 1 of their lives they are killed alive – 7 billion each year
      • This is done by one of the following:
        • shredding them (most common) – on fast moving conveyor belts leading to/or thrown into macerators/shredders
        • crushing them
        • burning them
        • drowning them
        • suffocating them via a gas chamber

We can do so many things to eliminate the torture and slaughter of these chicks and chickens. They are sentient beings…they know what is going on just like a dog or cat would anticipate what would be happening around them or to them. I used to eat eggs on a regular basis, use eggs in many dessert recipes and more. When I first did a bit of research about egg consumption it was based on a co-worker’s question on whether eggs were healthy or not. I blogged about this just over two years ago, Eggs Not All They Are Cracked Up To Be. They are so dangerous to our health that companies have been blocked in several attempts to advertise their health benefits because they are false. Check out the blog for numerous examples of these and what they do to our bodies…sick.

What we can do is look for alternatives. Use Google, Pintrest, Instagram, YouTube, cook books and more to identify healthy options. One of the simplest things to remember when using a recipe asking for an egg is to simply substitute a mixture of water and flaxseed meal at a 2.5/3 to 1 tablespoon ratio. My favorite scrambled egg recipe is this one from The Happy Pear. Make this and throw it on some toast…wow! Explore and see what you find as a tasty, healthy and animal free alternative.

In the research I’ve done it breaks my heart watching the distress and pain on the faces of these animals. I can’t imagine the fear they face on a daily basis. With love and compassion as a guiding principle we can do better.

– Add Health to Your Life

References of the gruesome process – WARNING – videos are graphic:

Featured Blog Photo – Two chickens I crossed paths with on a walk in Key West, Florida in October of last year. They are the lucky ones…

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