Baby chicks ground up alive: animal rights video goes viral

(Warning: video is totally gross). Via this SF Gate item, a Chicago-based animal rights group called Mercy for Animals shot the video above of baby chicks being ground up alive at an Iowa chicken processing factory. It's pretty disgusting, and reinforces a personal decision I made to avoid consuming eggs that come from this sort of place:

Hy-Line admitted to the Associated Press that "instantaneous euthanasia" (e.g. grinding up male chicks) is a standard practice and claims that it is also supported by the animal veterinary and scientific community. (Male chicks are less valuable because they can't lay eggs or be raised quickly enough for meat.) Mercy for Animals estimates that 200 million male chicks are killed annually and United Egg Producers confirmed this figure.
I'll take the happy kind of eggs Mark grows in his back yard, or none at all, yo. (Thanks, Brian Lam)


  1. I knew this was going on but to see it straight and clear is devastating. I swore off market eggs for this reason. Organic eggs have better cruelty standards, but not by much at all. Thanks for having the courage to post something so unpleasant but important.

  2. I wonder about the legality of that sort of disposal. I know there’s a lot of differences between a lab and a chicken farm, but I know in a research environment this kind of shit would never fly (even without oversight). I mean, this is the kind of stuff that serial killers do when they’re kids: there is a complete lack of morality.

  3. This kinda thing always elicits the sort of bashing comments i hate. I for one am not disturbed. I eat lots of meat and even though its not environmentally friendly i still do so. How is it wrong to grind up tons of tiny chickens if its ok to kill cows,a much larger animal with a more developed brain, for steak? Either you eat meat and you accept the consequences as I do, or you feel bad about the truth yet consume flesh like a hypocrite. Or you could feel bad about the truth and go vegan. Your choice, just remember that animals are born and die so we might eat them and use them. Dont be disgusted by their fate and scorn those who handle this sort of work, just to feed their kids, and still feel nothing when you eat meat. Learn, live, accept what is. Geeze.

  4. If you don’t get rid of the male chicks they’ll spend the rest of their lives trying to get rid of each other.

  5. Creepy as it is, dropping them in to a grinder like that is probably the most humane way of killing them. They’re in little pieces before they can even feel it. And then they’re food for the next generation: it’s the circle of life!

  6. @dungeonbrownies: When the cow is killed, you eat its meat. When the chicks are killed, is is ‘expedient’, and not an edible product. Think it through before you spout nonsense.

  7. Thanks for posting this, people should be more aware.

    You should also be aware of the kinds of people fighting against this madness, I’m not talking about PETA, but groups like In Defense of Animals and the recent case of the AETA4 ( and the SHAC7 (

  8. i think that all factory farms should take each chick one by one and put them in hospice care, feeding them lethal morphine drips while playing relaxing music so that the at least the end of their short miserable lives aren’t so terribly inhumane. cheers.

  9. What’s your alternate solution? Even eating organic, home-raised eggs… a vast array of manufactured goods (essentially any carb that’s not a potatoe, really) has eggs in in, typically as mass-produced as possible. I disagree with factory-farming methods, I’d love to see significantly more government support for small farmers / ranchers / whatever specialized noun exists for pig farmers, however, I recognize the contradictions and efforts that go into feeding (even a small portion) of 6 billion people. Waste is a product of specialization – we could all be maximally efficient small farmers, but the sustainable population at that level of industry is a hell of a lot less. Let’s get the philosophers involved… which is more ethical – killing thousands of male chicks, or making “ethical” choices whose mass-adoption implies a similar reduction in humans?

    (Yes it’s an inflammatory, exaggerated argument, but it’s the best phrasing I could come up with as a thought experiment. As mentioned, I disagree with factory farming methods and personally do what I can to support alternatives, but I recognize that my ability to do so is strongly tied to my relatively privileged socio-economic status).

    Oh, and as for food for the next generation… given various developments from that practice (ie Mad Cow), I’m hoping that they opt to add a phase or two into the cycle, ie using the chicken-meal as fertilizer rather than feeding it straight back to the chickens, but that’s possibly too optimistic.

  10. #5
    You know it’s not environmentally friendly yet you still do so and don’t find that disturbing? By “accepting the consequences” it sounds to me like you are enjoying a cheap steak at the cost of others having to deal with the mess it leaves behind.
    Animals may be born to feed us, but they’re not “products”. And though I accept eating animals, I will not accept what is. Also, these chickens weren’t being killed for food. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if they ended up as cow or chicken feed.

    BTW; I eat meat myself, but from farms I can actually set foot on myself and check out. It doesn’t take much effort to be responsible.

  11. Thank you Xeni for posting something that could be a bit dangerous.

    I’m surprised I don’t see the current trend of “this isn’t wonderful” debate going on here. Apparently this is more palatable compared to the rapist/pedophile postings. I honestly didn’t play the video. I know I can’t handle it.

    I’m doing research on the chicken industry right now, and this has been common place since the 1920s at the start of the poultry industry. Male birds cannot produce eggs, so are slaughtered. Since the start of the poultry industry, roosters have not been necessary- artificial insemination, hormones (i.e. science) now rule the roost. (sorry for the pun) In all actuality, the male chicks are being spared from a cruel life of battery cages that are suffered by the hens.

    I agree that we can and should utilize animals as a resource. But must we expend them through cruelty, neglect, and inhumane treatment? Why can’t they die without pain and fear? Why must they live their lives in pain? I believe we as a society are measured by how we treat the least of us. Animals, truly dependent on our care, are the least of our society. It is up to us to decide how they live and die. We must respect ourselves, society and life enough to give them the same painless life and death we proffer for murderers and rapists through capital punishment.

  12. Death is an integral part of industry that involves animal products.

    Chicken culling has been practiced since the beginning of industrialized farming. It’s don to make the process economical for the farmer and ultimately the consumer and also to prevent the lives of the chickens that are kept from being even more unpleasant that they would be otherwise.

    I can’t accept the notion that proper culling is cruel or painful in any way. these chicks die in a microsecond. Yes, the act of taking the life is cruel even when there is no suffering but not any more cruel than slicing the head off of a chicken, stripping it of it’s feathers and organs and frying it in hot fat.

    The general public regardless of it’s inclination towards animal compassion or lack there of is pretty disturbed when they first see footage or witness up close the process that animals go through to become our food. This is completely natural for a society that completely separates itself from death weather it be in the farm house of even death among our fellow humans. 150 years ago there were fewer vegans and though similar respects for the lives of animals were common in some cultures I think you’d be hard pressed to find a vegan culture that stayed vegan and progressed very far.

    I think that kids at a very young age, say 3-5 years old should be exposed to where their food comes from and how it’s processed so that they understand why compassionate treatment, conservation, and abstinence from products should be considered and practiced.

    People who would boycott this specific producer for the contents of this video should stick by their guns and not consume any products that contain poultry products. This includes anything made with egg, meat, and anything made from the derivatives. Trust me, even the most eco and/or animal friendly commercial farm uses practices that could be considered cruel. These animals are not going to college. They are here to be exploited and eventually die and usually it’s an unpleasant death.

    That being said, I’d like to say that I love eating animals and their products. I prefer that an animal go through the minimal amount of pain that’s possible in the end and I certainly would like an animal’s life to be as pleasant as possible before it’s time is up.

  13. It’s a shame that genetic engineering doesn’t weed out the male sperm cells before they get a chance to do their thing on the egg.

  14. #11: What’s your alternate solution?

    Don’t eat eggs.

    a vast array of manufactured goods (essentially any carb that’s not a potatoe, really) has eggs in in, typically as mass-produced as possible.

    I have no idea what you’re basing this on. I haven’t eaten any egg-related products in over seven years, and I eat a metric buttload of carbs (including plenty of over-processed, mass-market ones).

  15. @#5 – how can you compare this to killing cows for steak? Yes – kill a cow, get a steak…. a life end with a tangible and desired product, but what does the wholesale killing of these male chicks achieve? Even if they are putting the leftover chick meat in the chicken feed it is not good enough – this is how mad cow-like diseases start.

    This is awful. I am going to do my best to avoid eggs from now on. We all know how inefficient eating meat is (the same land-space that feeds 1 meat eating human can be used to feed 20 vegetarians) but these little processing techniques that we, as consumers, have no idea about are something which is just not good enough.

    I am going to screen-cap this vid, add a url and stick print-outs on supermarket shelves. People should be able to know about these nasty procedures before purchasing items that employ them in their production.

    Surely there must be a way we could determine which eggs will grow into female chicks before they develop, and destroy the males before they hatch? You can do this with seeds, so surely it could be done with eggs. Probably adds a level of cost, but I would buy brutality-free eggs for sure.

  16. i wasn’t bothered.

    there are many practices in our food production that bother me greatly. none of them were illustrated on this video.

  17. Mark’s previous post mentioned that he was able to order only hens, so it just means that his eggs are the “happy kind” because he didn’t have to cull the males himself. I find it hard to believe that his supplier would treat the male chicks any differently than an industry standard.

  18. I also have no problem with this. But I understand the ethical principle of “cause no needless harm”, which this certainly is. Today we are astonished that people used to accept and even defend slavery; perhaps one day we’ll be astonished that we once accepted these practices.
    But not yet.

    Humanity has a robust capacity for selectively ignoring even basic moral principles (do no needless harm) as long as it is a majority practice.

    But don’t be so fast to condemn people who support “cruel” farming practices. There isn’t a person reading this that hasn’t spent money on needless things like PS3’s, Wiis, eating out, a 5th pair of shoes, and so on when we KNOW a third of humanity is just scraping by, and a simple sharing of our monies would radically change their lives. And yet we share only a pittance of our wealth — nothing so much as to inconvenience ourselves, mind you — and we’re perfectly at ease doing so.

    We all live lives according to an indefensible moral code that violates the most basic human principle … to help one another. We give a little, and then watch as our brothers on another continent die for lack of medical supplies.

    Some day in the future, maybe we’ll be astonished that we ever lived THIS way.

    (I’m not saying, because we are comfortable with not stopping suffering in our own race, why not be cruel to animals as well … I’m saying we have a long ways to go yet. Be careful of pots condemning kettles.)

  19. Worse part is that they play Raymond Scott’s “Powerhouse” as the chics get lead down to the grinder.

    I mean, Do they HAVE to do that?

  20. Yuck. Pain and suffering make for poorer quality meat. Animals that have comfortable, stress-free lives taste a whole lot better than those who don’t. No offense… just saying.

  21. Instantaneous euthanasia seems like it’s actually a fitting name for the practice.

    You have useless animals that no one will pay to eat. What are you going to do with them? Even if you paid to raise them, you’d probably have trouble finding local hungry folk to eat them because they make crappy meat.

    Probably a better life than those that grow up in the industrial farm anyhow.

    Finally: if we didn’t raise cows and chickens, they would be nearly extinct immediately. It sucks that we have to kill them, but if we didn’t raise them for food they would never even exist in the first place.

    Thus: I don’t really care. If you don’t like it, go vegan. It isn’t that hard, I’ve done it for over a year. You can too.

  22. #13:
    “I prefer that an animal go through the minimal amount of pain that’s possible in the end and I certainly would like an animal’s life to be as pleasant as possible before it’s time is up.”

    This is the problem. Preference doesn’t equal necessity.

    Everyone *prefers* that animals aren’t in pain. I don’t think anyone really wants the cow/chicken/pig to be punched in the face a few times before they are slaughtered. Or sitting in their own feces, living with permanently broken legs, or never seeing sunshine.

    But until people say that they will not put up with this any longer- it will continue! As misguided as this particular video may be, that is what it is for. To get your attention and alert you to the terrible conditions facing our animals. It is suppossed to turn your preference into “I’m not going to fucking take this anymore.”

    Apparently it didn’t work. Which is too bad.


    Ah the venerable internet redirect argument.

    Examples include: “China’s human rights abuses may be bad but the US does XYZ!”

    “Who cares about (insert current subject for discussion) when there are people starving in Somalia?”

    What the fuck exactly do PS3s and shoes have to do with animals being ground up alive? Could somebody point out the relevance?

    I don’t know why I ever read comments, they just depress me more about my own race. You can bring up any subject, no matter how serious and 3 comments later you’ll have some moron waffling on about how it’s fine/not as bad as everyone’s making out/actually pretty good.

    Humanity please just hurry up, nuke yourself and let the roaches have a go.

  24. While it’s not a video I would want to screen while enjoying a caesar salad, I’m not shocked or horrified. This is industrial farming, and, in essence, where any kind of meat product comes from.

    The people in these videos aren’t cruel. They do a hard, smelly and physically intensive job. The gasping narration about beaks and nerve endings make it sound as if these workers take some pleasure in their work. That’s simply disingenuous, and honestly more than a little bit of class-ism at play.

    If you choose not to eat meat or eggs or consume dairy that’s your choice to make. If you don’t, your meat and meat-by products are rendered in ways that, while not enjoyable to look at, are generally far more “humane” and governed by more regulations than the treatment of many human beings in prisons across the United States.

    But then, convicts aren’t cute and fluffy.

  25. Don’t want to watch this video. Know that something similar had to happen. Eat meat, and like it. Prefer to think of cute chicks and grilled chicken as unrelated. Would be OK with genetic engineering to make all the animals in the park^Wfarm female.

  26. The contrast between the utilitarian machinery and cute fuzzy chicks is chilling, like some kind of SF nightmare.

    In a better world the maw of the rooster chick grinder would have a clown face, so they’d think they were going on a ride.

  27. I think people are putting this situation into two categories:

    a) I like meat, who are we to question the killing of animals?

    b) I don’t eat meat because of things like this

    These two opinions assume that we cannot have a humane or sustainable food source for people.

    PS: People need to buy cage free eggs (more than just “organic”). Better yet, get some chickens for your backyard and get them for free. This has nothing to do with cruelty, but taste. Sweatshop eggs taste terrible in comparison to real eggs. You won’t go back.

  28. Are 48,000 views *really* enough to say a video has ‘gone viral’? At that level, aren’t the hits coming from this Boing Boing article likely to overwhelm the original hit count? In other words, isn’t this a lot like, ‘Area reporter writes self-fulfilling headline!’

  29. That grinding machine looks dangerous. The hopper over the auger should have a screen over it to protect a worker from accidentally falling in. Someone should contact OSHA.

  30. Some will call me protein starved, contributing to my typo… however, I choose not to support this suffering.

  31. This reminds me of Jamie Oliver’s Fowl Dinners ( – in the first part he gasses male chicks in front of his dinner guests to make this very point. If you don’t like this your sole option is to go vegan: as is pointed out in Oliver’s show, there is no method of agricultural poultry production that doesn’t involve culling males. I’m constantly surprised how ignorant people are of agricultural practices.

  32. Interesting that people are reacting so strongly to the grinder, where lots of chicks are likely frightened and broken for a few seconds’ duration at most; but nobody has mentioned the chicks washed out of the sorting machine, scalded and then left to die of hypothermia or suffocate in the wastebin. Those ones might be suffering for hours or days. From a welfare viewpoint, that’s more of an issue than the grinder is; but it isn’t so spectacular and doesn’t make such great headlines.

    If we’re concerned about cruelty, the point isn’t that animals have to die to be our food, or even that the worthless male chicks have to be culled. Those chicks could easily be killed humanely and cheaply by CO2 chambers, or by designing a machine similar to the debeaker that kills them with a metal pin to the hindbrain, or even an automated guillotine. But any practice that adds a step between sorting and grinding will slow down the processing line and result in higher costs for the company.

    The same goes for debeaking; that machine was designed and built because it’s cheaper to mass-debeak the birds than to actually give them enough cage space that they don’t go bonkers and attack their neighbors. With debeaking, they still go bonkers, but can’t inflict damage. Money saved.

    The cruelty here isn’t an inherent part of either farming or meat-eating. It has everything to do with profit.

  33. Everyone used to have to kill their own chickens. Now someone else does it for us (frankly pretty damn efficiently). Having done the axe method, I’m not disturbed.

  34. if you can’t avoid doing evil, do the least evil. But be sure you have to do evil at all in the first place.

  35. Watched this video, and have seen others like it before. Doesn’t bother me at all. These are barely sentient animals, who cares? Not me. Eggs and Chicken are GOOOOOOD, yo. I’ll eat the organic ones (if you’re buying, don’t care for the extra cost) or the normal ones… don’t matter to me. Add me a side of bacon too.

  36. That auger is going WAY too slow to be considered to cause “instantaneous” death. If the “killing machine” could grind them up in a fraction of a fraction of a second, the chicks wouldn’t have enough time to experience pain. Of course, it would probably be simpler/cheaper and as humane to gas them.

    The occasional chick making it to the washer requires a control/monitoring program, which could possibly be computerized.

    The speed of the conveyor belts, the height difference between conveyor belts, sufficient catch area and guard walls to keep chicks from making it to the floor, a gentler hatching method, and other implementations, should be (possibly already is) written up as a strict technical standard, which could then be legislated as legally required like many other technical standards.

    Or become a vegan… whichever you prefer.

  37. I submit that you who swear off eggs and poultry are inflicting a cruel punishment on the worker grinding the chicks. Someone who does such a job must have little choice in his life but to take whatever work he can get. If your actions depress this industry, then he may be offered less hours, or even be laid off. In that case, he and his family will have to make sacrifices in their own lives.

    Now I must go fix my eggs for breakfast, thereby supporting the American workforce.

    Have a nice day!

  38. If it weren’t for the plea to become a vegan, I’d be all for this video. Asking for reform, or asking you to purchase locally is one thing, but asking me to dramatically change my diet because of big business practices is not a way to get me on your side.

    At home we buy eggs from our neighbor who has a flock of chickens. I’ll be looking for a local supplier in Pittsburgh for while I’m at college now as well.

  39. Carbon dioxide causes respiatory distress, try carbon monoxide (or calcium oxide in a sealed environment – animals exhaust oxygen, CO2 is absorbed, suffocation without distress)

  40. You can eat roosters. In China they raise them like chickens. You just have to remove the boy parts like how bulls are turned into steers. They become like chickens except they become really big and meaty with the assistance of hormones. That is a sad waste of potential meat.

  41. animals suffer. they feel pain. unless you are 100% sure what you just ate didn’t suffer on its way to your plate (and because it was on its way to you plate) you should really shut up. all of you. seriously.

  42. I’m with Takuan here; I’m wondering how vets can say this is the best way to go when asphyxiation with something like nitrogen (versus carbon dioxide) should be employed.

    Years ago, we used to get the male chicks from a hatchery and drown them; they were frozen in blocks of a hundred to be fed to our charges- injured birds of prey. They had to be heavily supplemented, but they were inexpensive- presumably free. Absolutely dreadful process.

  43. “it wouldn’t cost much to have the last few yards of the line end in a carbon dioxide chamber.”

    “That auger is going WAY too slow to be considered to cause “instantaneous” death. If the “killing machine” could grind them up in a fraction of a fraction of a second, the chicks wouldn’t have enough time to experience pain.”

    “I’m with Takuan here; I’m wondering how vets can say this is the best way to go when asphyxiation with something like nitrogen (versus carbon dioxide) should be employed.”

    Well, they’re industry vets.

    I’ve been trying to do my homework, and keep getting distracted by mentally designing high-throughput chick gassing devices. CO2’s heavier than air, so it could be done by running a belt down through a couple of air baffles. A few arrays of oxygen sensors to ensure the gradient is just right, and it should be good to go. CO2 works better than nitrogen asphyxiation when it’s done right.

    The automated guillotine would be more of a challenge, but it shouldn’t be hard to just modify the debeaker. It still requires the workers to set each chick’s head in the grips though, so it would be very time-consuming.

    The grinder isn’t just slow, it’s too imprecise to be acceptable. If the chicks don’t happen to go down the auger head-first (and the way they flap and scramble, that rarely seems to happen) then they’re getting wings, legs, or bodies torn up before the head, and that’s no good even for a fraction of a second. It’s illegal to dispose of small animals by stepping on them, because the speed isn’t enough to offset the fact that wounds are inflicted while the animal is still conscious. The brain has to go before nerve impulses from damage to the body have a chance to reach it; which in an animal that small is probably less than a tenth of a second.

    The head-first problem might be resolved with automated computer scanning (find the eyes) and a set of orientation air-jets, as are used in french fry processing… except that chicks change shape and orientation as they move about.

    Now, combining a high-speed grinder with an air cannon might work…

    (I just know I’m going to have really strange dreams tonight.)

  44. If this company makes eggs, why are there all these newly born chickens around? I thought the eggs that we eat are unfertilized (since the laying hens are kept without roosters). So where are all these chicks coming from? And why?

    Do the laying hens not have a very long lifespan or something? Are they replaced so quickly that the company needs to breed thousands more every day?

  45. “Do the laying hens not have a very long lifespan or something? Are they replaced so quickly that the company needs to breed thousands more every day?”

    Exactly. A battery cage hen is productive for a year or so, then they become nuggets.

  46. Buying cage-free and free-range chickens doesn’t mean a darn thing when it comes to this sort of thing.

    “Cage-free” means they may never see the light of day and may be beaked, starved to force molting, and packed tightly indoors. The cage-free label is not audited.

    “Free-range” is unregulated and not audited (it is for actual chicken meat, but not eggs). It’s identical to “cage-free” except the birds have access to the outdoors at some point, although one minute per chicken per lifetime may be deemed adequate by the producer.

    “Free-roaming” may be either of the above. It’s not regulated or audited.

    “Certified Organic” is regulated and audited by the USDA. The birds can’t eat pesticides or like that, must be uncaged, and must have regular outdoor access. Beaking and starvation are okay.

    “Certified Humane” is a privately-audited label through Humane Farm Animal Care. The birds have limits to how densely they can be packed, must be cage-free, and must have access to perches and nesting. They may not be starved, but may be beaked. They are not required outdoor access.

    “Cruelty-Free” is neither regulated nor audited. In the best case, it’s like “Certified Humane” but with outdoor access and without beaking. In the worst case, it’s a meaningless label: Any US egg farmer that meets USDA regs is legally not being cruel.

    Buying small-farm eggs is one way to go, but realize they may be culled anyhow. When I was a lad on a small farm, it was common practice to cull extras with a shovel and feed ’em to the pigs.

    Me? I buy the organic – although if the humane ones were available near me (I don’t drive) I’d go that route. Eggs are cheap; they’re one place where all but the poorest of us can budget for the option we’re most comfortable with. I’d be happier if these labels were clearer, standardized, and audited, tho’.

  47. It’s supposedly fairly hard to determine the sex of chicks unless they are specially bred hybrids. I’d imagine that there are a lot of mistakes in the sorting here. Especially at the rate the factory seems to be going. It seems needless, since you _can_ raise a rooster for meat.
    That’s what you get when you maximize shareholder value.

  48. A dozen internets for the person who sets this to “Yakkity Sax,” and does the forward-reverse thing during the bit with the auger.

    This video is a travesty! It is a crime against God and Nature to harm something that cute! Look at those little chicky-wickies! With their widdle beaks! Who’s a good chickey? You are! Yes, you a-oh.

    Anyway, grind up fish like that, I couldn’t care less. Hell, don’t bother grinding them, let them suffocate in air. Fish aren’t cute. Same with cows – get your ass in there, Bessie, you’re hamburger now.

  49. any effort in the correct direction is correct effort. We have progressed (a little) from culling surplus humans by throwing them into the streets to die, perhaps in time needless cruelty to animals will be overcome as well. I would pay more for vat raised chicken muscle tissue. Though I must confess the last vegetarian meal I had (Chinese buddhist) gave me a better sleep than in weeks. We know the direction, the will to move to it is innate, slowly, slowly we make progress. A wealth economy is the key.

  50. Reading #67… sigh.

    I only wish this country spent even one twentieth the effort on the regs and compliance for factory farms, pet stores, and breeders as it does on research animals. I’ve seen an entire lab *shut down* for months because they didn’t wean their mice early enough, resulting in overcrowded cages. We can’t even make battery cages and CAFOs illegal.

  51. Apart from the totally unethical way of handling lives it really can’t be economical or environmentally friendly to let (male)chicken develop until they hatch just to be immediately killed.More thoughts here.

  52. Yes, I am somewhat disturbed by this video … on the other hand, this video is totally exploiting our emotions (like Disney putting cute dogs in their movies and we all go ‘awwwww’)

    The fact is, most of us eat chicken … they are born and raised to die eventually.

    I would have liked this video to show some constructive alternative which does not involve raising the price of eggs and chicken by 1000% ..

    Have you ever lived in the vicinity of a rooster? Sleep goes bye bye … no wonder they have adapted to this method of quickly getting rid of them. And I am sure happy they don;t advertize that … sometimes ignorance is bliss.

    I am still looking forward to one day have a house with a garden and have a chicken coop and get my eggs from there … i think this urban farming might solve some of the issues raised in the video some day.

  53. What is wrong with this? Regardless of the stance people make regarding eating meat or not, the society we have in place is based upon a NEED to produce large quantities of food in order for the structure to remain intact. I hate to think what the average vegan who so stridently objects to the mass production of meat would do in the event of a failure of delivery trucks to make it to Fresh Foods (or wherever they shop). As part of the world’s “progress” the structure of society has changed significantly. While I am sure it would be nice to have some of Mark’s eggs or eat one of his chickens the scaling up of this to just feed the commentators on this board would simply not work.

    Regardless of the food type, there is a need for ‘factory’ production methods in order to fulfill the food demands of modern society. Regardless of the ethics, without this we would end up with social breakdown.

    Where things do need to change is in the sheer quantity of meat and other food stuffs that people consume. The general ‘lardiness’ of the average US citizen defies belief (without digressing it is why there also needs to be single payer health care – the insurance robber barons are Palins “Death Panels”). In order to remove these production methods requires more than a “Meat is Murder” mentality or approach. It requires a rethink. Sadly, while the backyard chicken coop sounds idyllic it is simply unsustainable in a modern society whatever wish any unicorn chaser may have…

  54. I have no problem with meat, farming, factory farming etc. (efficiency is required to feed huge numbers of people)

    I do have a problem with nutters like PETA an such.

    I also have a problem with people lacking respect for our food sources (the animals, the environment etc.). This video shows a complete lack of respect for our chicken brothers.
    And if this is used for feed, then I have a double problem as that kind of feed gives rise to interesting new diseases, most generally brain borne.

    However, I have no better solution. Think about it. How would you execute a bunch of male chicks?
    Gas? (painful/inefficient+toxic chemicals into the ground) lethal injections? (same problems)
    Shooting them would be insane. Hammering their little brains out would be exactly the same as grinding them. Chopping their heads of would cause more pain (brain stays alive for a few seconds)

    then what? I’m out of ideas!

  55. There is a mink farm near my home that makes its own mink feed. I passed a truck today filled with cages of retired laying hens on their way to the feed plant where they will be thrown alive into a wood chipper. The female chicks don’t fare any better than the males, they just face shredding after a short lifetime of laying eggs in tiny crowded cages.

  56. I don’t understand the outrage. This is the most humane euthanasia method possible. The chicks die in an instant, they don’t “go to sleep” and then get bled out, they aren’t drowned, electrocuted, decapitated, etc. Its certainly more humane than twisting their heads off and letting them flop around for a while (as is done on most subsistence farms). Don’t be swayed by its gruesome mechanics, this is probably the most humane method that exists for any animal. The animal rights group is trying to incite outrage over what? The fact that this farm is using an outrageously painless method of euthanasia?

    This is actually more humane than what happens at your local humane society or your friendly neighborhood research facility. (FYI – Chickens at research facilities are euthanized with CO, usually stuffing them in a barrel, just like an animal shelter. This is basically death by suffocation.)

  57. #76 Glorious.

    #75 CO2 gas actually works great and wouldn’t be *too* much more expensive, but they’d have to grind the bodies anyway and it’s already a pretty humane death by any measure. It’s just the squick factor and the d’awww chicks that people are getting upset at.

  58. Good on you (and BB) for posting this, ignorance is only an excuse so long as people are kept in the dark about what is going on, and sometimes reading about it simply isn’t enough.

    As disgusting as the video is, what really makes me sick to my stomach are the arrogant, idiotic and borderline sociopathic comments that in effect say “I don’t care about others’ suffering”. Congratulations, you make the human race proud.

    ‘A quick death is a good death’ simply doesn’t cut it when you’re being hurled face first, and alive, into an industrial meat grinder.

  59. ITT: People who are either bothered or not bothered by this come up with needlessly complex moral arguments to justify their preconditioned preference.

  60. @HotPepperMan

    Producing meat is vastly LESS efficient and requires MORE input energy, land, ressources etc than producing the same quantity (cal for cal) of vegetable based food. I thought everyone knew that.

  61. @#21 Atomix

    That’s actually a good solution. I wish more people would think like you do instead of having a massive morality flamewar.

  62. All the hatchery has to do is make a “steampunk” version of the chick-grinder, and then BoingBoing would be their biggest fan.

  63. It doesn’t change a thing if you by organic eggs, because they still won’t need male chicks for that. I read that they kill them anyway. Organic or not…
    50 million a year.

  64. a friend of mine worked in a Quayle farm in France for a summer, they kill the quayles by putting them in vacuum box, thus the heart explodes apparently instantly, and keeping the meat nice and tender…

    then they burn the feathers with a torch.

    then they put them in a bath of hot wax to remove any remaining feathers

    … some of them make it alive through this process he told me.

    and finally they stick a tube in their rectums and suck all the intestines out.


  65. I suppose we could just hope for Capon to come back into dining fashion.

    Not that there’s not some animal discomfort in that process (castrating a male chick is a bit invasive…internal genitalia and all), but I’ve read that a nice, fat capon is awfully tasty. And gives you something to do with the males rather than let them grow into foul-tempered aggressive and generally bastardy birds or kill ’em.

  66. In most countries in the industrial world, this kind of killing is illegal and chickens are made unconscious with gas or currency before their heads are chopped of. It sounds good in theory, but in practise it is actually a lot worse then the method shown here.

    I’ve worked at slaughter houses in a country were killing like that one in the video is illegal. Gasing don’t work, electricution don’t work, V-knifes (roughly guillotining) don’t work. As far as I can tell, the method in this video is far more humane.

    If you kill the chicks manually it would be less painful for the chicks (you can easily pop off the head with your thumb on a chicken this small). But it would be even more painful on the workers who had to kill all those chickens. Their hands would be crippled really fast and their necks and shoulders stiffened, chicks are very small and killing them by hand takes a lot of precision.

    On the other hand DEBEAKING IS INCREADIBLY CRUEL AND TOTALY UNECESSERY. If the chickens/hens are kept in a only reasonably good environment, there is absolutely no need for debeaking. You save almost no money by debeaking them. Debeaking is illegal and unneeded in all civilised countries (just like torture or excecutions). Debeaking is really painful and if the beaks gets infected (which it usually get, unless you use antibiotics to a degree that isn’t allowed in civilised countries) the pain continue the rest of the life of the chicken (which is a year for a egg laying chicken and a couple of months for a broiler). I don’t get why nobody here don’t react more strongly on the debeaking, but then again, most comments are from people who live in a barbarian country where it is accepted to chop of the “fingers” of cats just because it is convenient (declawing, also illegal in all civilised countries).

    Oh, and to get milk you have to kill a lot of calves (in my country they get one summer of pasturage, it is actually a really good, but short , life (because it is almost for free of cost for the farmer), then they are killed before the winter, most calves in other countries don’t get this luxury because there is a large shortage of grace land in most of the world (including US and GB)). Same dilemma as with eggs.

  67. I don’t like this, and actually think it’s probably not very efficient. Couldn’t they be suffocated with Helium gas in chambers? No suffering or awareness. Do the beaks afterwards (that bit is bad news).

    But Michael Moore does it better – he informs people of what’s happening to them, what they’re ingesting, and doesn’t romanticise the fate of the animals headed there. People at McDonalds don’t care about farm animals.

    And “Save the Chicks” in this busy world … sorry, not going to get the share of voice. There are other things to fix before fixing this.

    I’m thinking of the Chinese compunction for annihilating species, and the particularly idiotic association of eating sexual organs of dangerous animals to endow oneself with their whatever (who even knows). And the skinning alive of Chinese wolf dogs.

    And the world isn’t going vegan tomorrow, let me tell you.

    Anyhow – you’re all smart – actually come up with a workable proposition for male chick handling and take it to the industry. Sitting misty eyed on the sofa with a relaxing unicorn chaser ain’t gonna change diddly.

  68. @57 Takuan – Carbon Dioxide chamber is actually massively stress-inducing. The brain doesn’t monitor oxygen content of the blood, it monitors CO2 – more CO2 is more stress, massively.

    All you need to do is allow the CO2 out, and prevent oxygen going in, and you have utterly blissful finishes. Helium does the job nicely.

  69. Like the staged nature of medical research (first with animals, then with humans) people should be feeling very nervous about the next stages in a world with 7 billion people.

    Especially given that genocide has always been a driving force in human evolution.

  70. Carbon dioxide asphyxiation is not a pleasant process. I had a friend whose job involved putting down lab rats in a decommisioned autoclave using CO2, and the stories were awful. It was not a matter of drifting off to sleep–it was the opposite, a mass agonized panic that lasted much too long.

    Could use CO, perhaps, but it can be nauseating and headsplitting. It’s got to be something that cuts the oxygen while still allowing CO2 exhalation, otherwise the blood acidifies and the chemoreceptors trigger and it all goes to waterboard hell. I’ve heard helium will do the trick, although it’s relatively expensive. I’m not sure why nitrogen wasn’t used on the rats, since it’s cheap and plentiful.

    Of course, if money were no object, the chicks could be euthanized using that crazy-powerful fentanyl derivative that the Russians gassified and sprayed into the theatre hostage situation a few years back. That would be a decent way to go, and the revenue from black market diversion would provide a fine farm subsidy to boot.

  71. This actually looks pretty humane to me; a moment of freefall (which shouldn’t scare a bird too much) then instantaneous death.

    A few people have suggested gassing the chicks instead, but that would actually be more cruel.

    If you look at the lungs of a gassed mouse there’s usually obvious damage. I’m not sure what causes this, maybe the lungs spasming right at the end. Gassing the animals is better for us because it looks peaceful, but it’s worse for the animal because they die more slowly and presumably with more suffering.

    So the grinder is more gorey, but better for the animals.

  72. #57

    “it wouldn’t cost much to have the last few yards of the line end in a carbon dioxide chamber.”

    Chicks used as food animals (say, for snakes) are humanely euthanized in this way. This is just barbaric, and it’s more than disturbing that some don’t have a problem with it, especially, when there are viable, humane alternatives.

    I didn’t watch it. The description was bad enough.

  73. Industry standard is to suffocate the male chicks with CO2,

    De-beaking of chicks is probably the kindest thing to do at a young age, as anyone who has kept chickens will attest, they are violent, and form a very literal pecking order to sort out a dominance line.

    If the male chicks grow in age, they will kill each other (ever heard of cock fights?)

    Any chickens getting through the sorting process will increase cost to the factory, therefore many steps are typically made to reduce as far as is reasonably practical, these errors.

    A lot of people also seem to think chickens have some semblance of intelligence. They really don’t, it’s not uncommon for our chickens to get stuck on one side of a wire fence, because they can’t work out a way around it.

    Finally I give little credence to people who cry out how horrible and un-compassionate killing chickens is until they have done it themselves.

    For the record, if you can’t already ring the neck of a chicken, and need to dispatch it. Use an axe. It’s a (bit bloodier) quick sure fire way to dispatch them.

  74. If you aren’t able to kill your own meal at least once, then you don’t have the right to buy someone else’s dirty work off the shop shelf.

  75. I like the idea of testing the eggs BEFORE they’re hatched in to chicks. Surely someone could develop a way to test the fertilized eggs and see what sex the chick will turn out to be? Maybe test for a certain chemical?

    Then the male eggs could be removed fed to other livestock. This would be MUCH more humane, as well as cost effective.

  76. I’ll take the happy kind of eggs Mark grows in his back yard, or none at all, yo.

    And what on Earth do you think happens to the male chicks over at Mark’s supplier??? Really, that’s the least thought-out comment I’ve seen all day (although it’s only 7:59, so that’s not surprising).

    As for everyone that is saying that a CO2 chamber would be more humane than this, do you actually know that? I mean, I know this looks completely revolting, and a CO2 chamber looks like they’re just drifting off to happy land, but we really don’t know what they’re feeling. At least this is pretty much instantaneous.

    If you don’t eat eggs, you are free to say that this is terrible. If you do eat eggs, whether they are free-range, organic, or Mark’s “happy” kind, you really, really aren’t. Mark’s “happy” eggs cause just as much killing of male chicks. My organic brand always has pictures of individual hens on the inside flap, with names and biographies — never any pictures of the dead male chicks… why?

  77. I understand there have been many cases of lethal injection capital punishment that show the person being killed in great pain.

  78. Life feeds on life.

    I am offended by the self-righteous wealthy elite liberals who, if they had their way, would have me starve so they could puff themselves up. The consequence of putting into practice the policies that liberal elites favor, all organic farming, all vegan diet etc. is that I and many millions more, would starve.

    I don’t have a choice between free range chicken or grass fed beef and conventional meat. I have the choice between getting whatever the food self gives me, or is on sale, or nothing at all.

    Romantic consumerism can go one step higher than the Kantian aesthetic purposelessness of window-shopping, when it decides to refrain from consumerism as such. This is the attitude of the boycotter, who emerges as a type in the proto-feminism of the Bluestocking circle in the 1780s and 1790s, and which Percy and Mary Shelley, and many others, continued. The specific product boycotted was sugar, which was sentimentally described as the crystallized blood of slaves. By describing it thus, the boycotter turned the object of pleasure into an object of disgust. In order to have good taste you have to know how to feel appropriate disgust, how to turn your nose up at something. So the zero degree performance of taste would be spitting something disgusting out, or vomiting. So the height of good taste performativity is abstaining from sugar, and spice if you are one of the Shelleys, who held correctly that spice was a product of colonialism. (Their vegetarianism was thus not only anti-cruelty, but also anti-flavor.)

    The attitude of the boycotter is that she or he has exited consumerism, but one could just as easily claim that this attitude is itself a form of consumerism, as I’ve just argued. It’s a performance of a certain style of aesthetic judgment. So thinking that you’ve exited consumerism might be the most quintessentially consumerist attitude of all. In large part this is because you see that the world of consumerism is an evil world. You, having exited this world, are good. Over there is the evil object, which you shun or seek to eliminate. Over here is the good subject, who feels good precisely insofar as she or he has separated from the evil world.

    Beautiful Soul Syndrome

    Turning vegan solves nothing, it just turns you into a modern preening dandy.

  79. Apart from the chicks going through boiling water I didn’t really see anything wrong with it.

    I grew up in rural areas and having our own chooks, and the fact is you can be rough to some extent with chicks because they are tough little sods. In fact when they do something stupid and jump out of your hand they literally bounce.

    The fact that people that didn’t grow up with “real” farm animals can’t take a little real life is their problem, life ain’t a petting zoo kiddies.

  80. #82

    “Producing meat is vastly LESS efficient and requires MORE input energy, land, ressources etc than producing the same quantity (cal for cal) of vegetable based food. I thought everyone knew that.”

    Sorry, you lost me with your reply. I did not mention efficiency, land use etc. I was referring to excessive consumption and the impracticality of switching several hundred million people’s diets. This is particularly true when we as a species are, at this stage of our development, predominantly meat eaters. Without digressing too much it would be interesting to see someone propose the “cal for cal” diet (with recipes AND a detailed cost and production breakdown) that would satisfy the current dietary/calorific requirements of the average Burger-meister, Kant-Find-Chicken-ite, and Pizza-plunderer.

    Given the current societal structure, were people even able to keep chickens in their backyard the smell and health issues would be incredible. For switching to a vegetable based diet; what of the current massive use of nitrates, herbicides and pesticides? The list of issues and problems arising from this are incredible…

  81. Could you feed ALL the chicks a sedative, say several hours before this process?

    I mean what’s really horrible about that grinder is that the chicks are alive and conscious for it. That can’t be allowed to happen.

  82. So we should go vegan based on assumption that even though plant is alive, it does not show any pain or anguish when we pull them out from soil?

  83. Responding to 91, 92, and 94 among others, and to anyone else who may need to use CO2 euthanasia:

    “Carbon dioxide asphyxiation is not a pleasant process. I had a friend whose job involved putting down lab rats in a decommisioned autoclave using CO2, and the stories were awful. It was not a matter of drifting off to sleep–it was the opposite, a mass agonized panic that lasted much too long.”

    I’ve also euthanized mice and rats by CO2 as part of my job, for more than ten years. The difference is that we were taught to do it properly.

    1) CO2 causes panic when it’s introduced too quickly and at too high a concentration. Carbon dioxide gas causes burning of the nasal passages when it mixes with dampness and becomes carbonic acid. If you’ve ever breathed too close to a container of dry ice, you’ve felt this burn yourself. To use it correctly for euthanasia, CO2 has to be introduced slowly into the chamber, over about thirty seconds for a standard mouse cage (about 7 x 9 inches IIRC). Then there is no panic; the rodents investigate the strange new noise, sit up and sniff at the cage roof, gradually start to sway drunkenly and then lie down unconscious. If you see them start to run, search for escape, or especially panic, YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG.

    2) CO2 has to be used in a chamber that is both airtight and transparent so the tech can monitor how the animals are reacting. We used plastic storage tubs and/or fitted cage tops over the animals’ regular cages. Using a decommissioned autoclave isn’t acceptable, first because the tech can’t see if the animals are panicking or not; and second because it is a strange, unfamiliar, uncomfortable place which is also frightening. If the gas coming in makes a loud hissing, the sound can set them off, too. Autoclaves aren’t known for being quiet.

    3) Animals can panic because of common mistakes that aren’t related to the CO2 directly. Being put into a completely strange place is one trigger. Being overcrowded is another, really common source of panic: techs commonly put lots of unrelated rodents together in a euthanasia chamber, mixing pups and adults, strange males together with females. In mice especially, this leads to fighting even if you mix them in an ordinary cage with no CO2 in sight. Rough handling, such as grabbing or tossing the animals, also stresses them and makes them more likely to fight or panic. The best way to euthanize rodents is in their own home cage, or by putting them in a new, clean cage with bedding (not a bare floor) as would be done in a normal cage change.

    At my university, the vets routinely handed out warnings or even formal citations for improper euthanasia. Some techs were adjoined from working with animals because of practices as simple and minor as gassing too quickly or overcrowding their cages even after being warned.

    A specific response to #94:

    “As for everyone that is saying that a CO2 chamber would be more humane than this, do you actually know that? I mean, I know this looks completely revolting, and a CO2 chamber looks like they’re just drifting off to happy land, but we really don’t know what they’re feeling.”

    Researchers have been measuring EEGs, eye movement, and stress hormones in euthanized animals to determine the quickest and least stressful routes to cessation of brain activity. For source material, see the references in the most recent AVMA euthanasia recommendations here:

    CO2 is addressed on page 11. For instance:

    “For rats, exposure to increasing concentrations of CO2 (33% achieved after 1 minute) in their home cage produced no evident stress as measured by behavior and ACTH, glucose, and corticosterone concentrations in serum.” (ref 70)

    It’s a crusade of mine to correct misinterpretations of CO2 euthanasia whenever I can. Many people have to use it without proper training, then have horrible experiences and know perfectly well that the animals they’ve just killed have suffered at their hands. Or worse, they get told by their well-meaning, poorly trained mentors that the animals “don’t really feel pain” or to ignore the evidence of their eyes because “that’s just the way it is, get over it”. That leads to callous treatment, loss of empathy, passing on of mistakes to the next trainees, and more suffering all around.

    We are entirely responsible for the animals we use, whether for food, research, breeders, or pets.

  84. People should find a way to send these animals to third world countries for food. I am sure that there are shipping companies that could write off the costs of shipping these animals there as a charitable tax rebate. There is so much food that is needed in the world- and you can simply allow the chicken to go ‘wild’, and scavenge for food by itself- instead of feeding it the corn from the mouths of the poor. This is kind of revolting to consider this excess of our riches while also watching the suffering of the destitute.

  85. I love how the narrator keeps sanctimoniously mentioning that they’re “roughly” handled in the light of the rest of the video it’s comical.

  86. It’s not a matter of “vegan or not vegan”, it’s a simple matter of not condoning this kind of treatment of any living thing.

    There are ways of producing meat that DON’T involve this level of cruelty. To say “humans should never eat meat” is ridiculous, but so is saying “in order to eat meat, I am required to support factory farming”.

    And it’s also not about “romantic consumerism”, it’s about a basic sense of decency and responsibility. Which is apparently hard to come by. We all deserve to be reborn as Hy-Line chicks.

  87. Oh for God’s sake some of this is so inane.

    There is no good reason to eat animals. There, fixed it.

    Pathetic examples of ‘workers’ being out of a job, no work…well bring back coal-powered steam engines and the wheel-tappers and shunters union if you really think this is a solution. Or the jobs for people who put the feathers on arrows.

    O.mi.god. I like eating animals. So what? Seriously, your excuse is really: “I’m selfish. I don’t care. It’s all too hard…but if something happens to me, please help.” Poor you. Get over it and move on. Get a life.

    Don’t bother with the ‘plants are alive’ crap either. You’re an idiot and your argument isn’t logical. Plants are not sentient. Ding. Next please.

    ..and yes, not eating meat is better for the environment. If you don’t believe it, go and do your own research. It’s not hard to find. You see, there’s this thing called the Internet…it’s like a bunch of tubes.

    Am I sick of the dullards that make comment here sometimes? Yes. Am I being blunt and rude? Yes. Do I care? As much as you do about the well-being and welfare of animals and our environment.

    There. I feel better now.

  88. @99

    “Life feeds on life.”

    yes – alot of it is plant life.

    “I am offended by the self-righteous wealthy elite liberals who, if they had their way, would have me starve so they could puff themselves up. The consequence of putting into practice the policies that liberal elites favor, all organic farming, all vegan diet etc. is that I and many millions more, would starve.”

    So you would be starving yourself I assume because you wouldn’t want to live in a world that forced people to be responsible for what they eat.

    “Turning vegan solves nothing, it just turns you into a modern preening dandy.”

    I remember high school too and how being gay is actually the worst thing in the world. When people imply doing something that’s good for yourself and for the world is gay – its a call to do the opposite so lets all stop being fags and just start eating each other right now.

    On a side note – not a single vegetarian ever died from lack of meat – in fact they typically live longer. But living is gay. And besides YOU have to eat meat even if they don’t just to assert some manhood over them so eat up. Its for a greater good you can keep assuring yourself.

  89. The processed male-chick-protein-mash that comes out of the other end of this spur of the factory is almost certainly (after cooking) used as feed for other animals – probably fellow chickens.

  90. Vegans,

    Your argument boils down to: “The answer to [problem X] is to fundamentally alter human behavior, the origins of which are no less than hundreds of thousands of years old.”

    Veganism may be an answer.

    Hell, veganism may be THE answer.

    But please don’t pretend that is is an obvious or simple answer.

    — MrJM (homo sapiens sapiens)

  91. They say there is no market for the male chicks. So why doesn’t PETA buy them and put them on a farm or something.

  92. #82: “Producing meat is vastly LESS efficient and requires MORE input energy, land, ressources etc than producing the same quantity (cal for cal) of vegetable based food. I thought everyone knew that.”

    That sort of blanket statement is ridiculous. People didn’t start eating meat because it’s delicious. They did it because it’s an incredibly efficient way to get stuff we need.

    A) Animals and crops go quite well together on farms where shit is used to make plants which are used to feed people and animals.
    B) LOTS of land is completely unable to support normal crops, but can support grazing animals. Animals are a way of making crappy land support people. That land makes up a large chunk of our country, let alone huge swaths of Asia and Africa.

    I don’t like factory farms. But just because industrialized meat production is wrong, doesn’t mean _all_ meat consumption is cruel or inefficient.

    Raising animals is always brutal, but when done well it’s vastly less brutal than what they’d experience in “nature”. A nice warm bed, access to unlimited food, freedom from disease, help reproducing, and protection from predators in exchange for what? Freedom? Longevity? There’s a reason they starting hanging around humans in the first place.

    I would love to go to a PETA meeting and say “please raise your hand if you’ve spent more than 30 minutes at a working family farm”

  93. #106 PADRAIG

    Whoa, someone has rattled your cage. Resorting to insults is perhaps a little out of line and somewhat emotive. Simply put, and without resorting to any socio-political viewpoint, the problem is that there is neither the infrastructure or the will for society to change. Some people (a large percentage) like to eat meat. It is a significant part of their diet. Whether they need to or not, they do. There is no ‘selfish’ about it.

    I have yet to find (with significant searching of the Interwebtubenets) any concrete, realistic, manageable, and plausible proposal for weaning people of meat by having a system in place that supplies the pound for pound consistent supply of non-meat products to meet with consumer demand.

    For some it is all about taste, for others, lifestyle. Elsewhere, there is simply not the choice.

    Several posters have been most strident regarding their ‘do not eat meat it is bad for the environment’ but seem to have little understanding of agribusiness and the commercial distribution of food. Bad for the environment? Yes, humans are. Switching to a vegetable based diet will simply result in higher usage of nitrates, pesticides, and an exposure to significant degradation of land.

    Take the ‘let us switch to ethanol’ idiocy as a simple example. There is simply insufficient acreage to produce the required quantities and it places higher demands and price hikes on what should be a food item.

    Show me in detail what your realistic proposals are to provide a cared for environment while also providing a sufficient varied and stable food supply for the US population of 330 Million plus (and growing) people…

    I do not want insults and platitudes, I want facts and information…

  94. If you don’t eat meat that is your choice. I am a meat eating, top of the food chain guy. Everything we use comes from somewhere at some cost. That’s life…. We are consumers, it has always been this way, it will always be this way. The grinder is a quick humane method of culling which was done by decapitation before this. picture that; 1000 blood spurting headless chick running around. Oh yeah that’s much more humane. Those chicks are not wasted, they become feed and organic fertilizer, both needed and important. They probably fertilized the organic farm your sprouts and endive were grown on; gasp!

  95. @ #74 –

    I’m a vegan. I try to produce as much as I can in my garden, canning and freezing so I can eat throughout the year ( I live in Minneapolis, it gets too damn cold to grow anything ). I dumpster a lot of food, but if I didn’t, I’d still be able to survive on what grow in my urban garden, and what I can barter with my friends. Don’t assume all ( or even *most* ) vegans survive on Tofutti slices and mass-produced groceries.

  96. I bet I’m the only person here who has actually WORKED in a hatchery. It. Was. Totally. Gross. The hatchery I worked at, to my knowledge, didn’t have a big auger death machine, but it was completely common to accidentally break a chick’s neck while handling them by the hundred…or accidentally stepping on them. Not to mention the rotten eggs that break, spilling half-formed chick onto you.

    I literally didn’t eat eggs for a year afterward.

    But what is it you all expect from the production process? That each chick receive a eulogy and a lethal injection? The only way to alter the industry would be to move production to individual small farms where farmers would slaughter the chickens by hand. That means: ring their neck, or chop their head off. So, you can break or cut the chicken’s body with your hand, an axe, or an auger. Why do you only complain about the auger?

  97. Tough society to be a male chicken. Rendered “useless’ and disposed of…imagine if mankind were to adopt these principles to everyday life for humans. Ouch! Wait, we already do.

  98. Er the other way forward is meat protein grown in vats, without any nervous systems. In fact it will be perfect in every aspect except of course taste and texture, but they’ll eventually perfect that.

  99. #112
    I don’t think the point at issue is whether we should or could force everyone to change their diets. At this point in time, going veg is a choice. And it’s something you can do too!

    I’ve gone vegan recently and I spend very little money on food. Remember that meat is expensive and bulk grains and dry beans are not. Learn to cook with spices, and after a while you won’t even miss meat or eggs or dairy. Your palate and preferences change and you really do feel healthier. You could start by eating meat only once a week as a treat and then improve your diet as time goes on.

  100. Aw, the old “being a vegen makes me more environmental” argument.

    See any deer or other wild animals living on your vegan farm? No, because if they get near that vegan food, they are dead. Either the farmer kills them or they starve because their natural habitat has been turned into a farm.

    Vegans still kill animals.

  101. @hotpepperman 118: “Switching to a vegetable based diet will simply result in higher usage of nitrates, pesticides, and an exposure to significant degradation of land.”

    Yeah, except everything you just said is wrong. Wrong. False. The opposite of true. In commercial farming, animals are raised on soy and corn (or other grains). And as you might imagine, feeding an entire animal until it’s big enough to slaughter/milk/produce eggs takes a lot of grain. This grain must be grown in fields using nitrates, pesticides, etc.

    It takes many times more pesticides, nitrates and overall energy use to produce a pound of meat than a pound of soybeans – and while the pound of soybeans doesn’t have as many calories, you could grow 3 or 4 pounds of soybeans to replace one pound of beef and still come out far ahead in terms of environmental impact.

    Yes, there is tons wrong with plant agriculture. But all eating meat does is multiply your economic support of that agriculture many times over.

  102. You can watch a (real) asphyxiation of a monkey using CO2 by renting The Andromeda Strain. They gassed the monkey and then resuscitated it. I couldn’t find a clip, but maybe somebody has better YouTube Fu than me.

  103. Some basic biology for you folks. If the egg is unfertilized, it is simply an ovum. So please knock this “happy egg” BS . off. If you don’t want eggs, don’t eat them because you don’t like eggs. Eggs are almost never actually fertilized when you buy them. That’s, incidentally, why I also always object to people referring to them as “chicken abortions.” It is more on par with having your period. And stop this sea-kitten nonsense too- what on earth do you suggest they do with the chicks? I don’t see PETA offering coops and such for these baby chicks. You people feel bad because chicks are cute. Or you think they are anyway. But chickens are not nice, peaceful creatures- they are vicious omnivores- they eat bugs and worms and will gladly eat poultry meat. You know why you only have one rooster? Because if you put in a second one you’ll wind up with only one anyway because one will be dead. That’s how it works. For gods sake, people. Grow up.

  104. Fry ’em up in lard, and I’ll eat those ground up baby chicks! Mmmmmmmm, healthy goodness, plenty of protein and fiber in that.

    I don’t eat sugar, though, Noen. It’s bad for you… like most processed vegetables.

    Archeology proves that our teeth are not made for eating sugars and carbs. No dental caries – zero, nada, zilch – in pre-agricultural societies. In fact, that’s how archeologists determine when a people start farming – by the pain and suffering of rotting teeth. Humans evolved to eat meat, raw fruit and unprocessed seeds.

    Just a science-based rejoinder to counter the sanctimonious wing of the vegan axis. :) Seriously, people, eat whatever you want, just remember you’re voting with every purchase.

  105. This sort of mass killing would be a good use for an old steam press; no less gruesome, but the mass kill truly would be instantaneous, as twenty thousand pounds of steel abruptly hammered down on them once, hydraulically.

    Yes, icky, and probably not fun to clean afterwards, but /anything/ in there would be dead, instantly.

  106. #105

    There was a How It’s Made episode on chick hatcheries; my roommate and I were horrified at the handling of animals, which pretty much matched what was in this video. They didn’t show the grinding up of male chicks.

    That being said, I had turkey meatballs for dinner. Tonight I think i’ll have chicken. Mmmmm, chicken.

  107. Arkizzle,

    Let me cite some facts then to help back up Padraig’s rudeness.

    Here is an excellent article from the BBC that sums up the main points.

    Here is a quick highlight:
    “It takes up to10kg of cattle feed to produce just one kilogram of beef, 4-5kg of grain to produce a kilogram of pork and 2-3kg of grain for one kilogram of chicken.”

    Translated from the metric that is
    up to 10 pounds of grain for 1 pound of beef
    4-5 pounds of grain for 1 pound of pork
    2-3 pounds of grain for 1 pound of chicken

    For every 16 once rib eye consumed, there could be 10 pounds of grain used to feed the hungry. Plant production is way, way more efficient.

    If you care about climate change at all, then, you should eat less meat.

    Per the United Nations: “The UNFAO estimates that meat production accounts for nearly a fifth of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. That’s more than all of the world’s air and road transport combined.”

    Every one eating less or no meat could have a bigger effect on climate change then every one buying a Prius.

    This doesn’t get into the other environmental impacts of factory farming meat. Imagine dealing with all the shit from all the Pigs and Cows that are raised in factory farms. Well, I could try to sum it up, but really, the Article Boss Hog in Rolling Stone does it better justice then I ever could.

    The story wasn’t rendering for me for some reason. If it wasn’t for you, here is the google cache of the first page. It’ll give you the jist.

    The bottom line is that meat is very inefficient, terrible for the environment, and very tasty. I still eat it, but much less then I used to. I used to jokingly call myself a “meatatarian.” After seeing the impact that meat has on the environment, I went from eating meat at every meal to about three times a week now. Some times, I’ll go vegetarian for about a month.

    I’ve found people are a lot more open to change if you explain that meat is hard on the environment and that eating less meat can help. If you ask some one to give up meat cold turkey, they will usually blow you off.

  108. Noen: What the hell are you talking about? If you are in an economic situation where you have to eat food produced with cruelty, fine, go ahead and do so. The rest of us have no excuse, though.

  109. In commercial farming, animals are raised on soy and corn..”

    Ahh hah ha ha. Are they?

    “Currently, American cattle feed may legally include any of the following risky materials:xxii

    • Plate Waste. This includes restaurant scraps and leftovers that may contain beef products. (cooking infected meat does not destroy the disease)

    • Poultry Litter. This is the waste swept up from the floors of chicken houses. The litter usually includes spilled chicken feed, which may contain cow parts, and chicken feces, which may contain BSE prions since they do not break down in the digestive tract.

    • Cow and Pig Blood. Plasma (the liquid part of blood) from cows and pigs is often used as a protein supplement in milk replacer for young calves.”

    “But critics have long worried about some big loopholes: Cows were allowed to eat the blood from slaughtered cattle, usually as a milk replacement for calves. That exemption was allowed even though people thought to have been exposed to mad cow-tainted beef in other countries weren’t allowed to donate blood, for fear the disease could spread through blood.”

    “Also, cow parts are allowed in pig and poultry feed – and until now, chicken waste could be swept up and added to cattle feed, meaning cows could indirectly be exposed.”

    “Effective April 23, 2009, the FDA has banned a series of cattle products from all animal feed and pet food in attempt to prevent the spread of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad cow disease.”

  110. oxdeadbeef @8:

    Feeding animals to animals is how prions got from sheep brains into cow brains into human brains (BSE).

    Full disclosure: I don’t eat land critters. The day they pulled down the butcher chart in 7th grade biology class was the last day I ate such things. No politics involved. None. Period. That was 25 years ago. I won’t suggest anyone else quit eating critter. That’s your choice, your body. However, I can ask that we all try to get a bit more informed about where our food comes from and how it gets from the barn or field to our tables.

  111. The solution is to genetically engineer a chicken to only lay female eggs. Thus no male chicks need to be killed. Females can be raised to lay eggs.


  112. OMFG…I won’t watch this video because I would likely vomit and/or pass out, but THANK YOU for making me aware of it.

    I keep ducks for their eggs, and I’ve had a hard time because I have too many males than I ought to. I’m now glad that I have them, knowing they didn’t get GROUND UP.

    GOOD GOD…grinding up anything alive is not INSTANT EUTHENASIA. It’s fucking animal cruelty!!!!!

  113. SomeGuyOnTheInternets

    “Life feeds on life.”

    yes – alot of it is plant life.

    The point being that one cannot escape the moral dilemma by reverting to eating only plant life. All life is precious and yet we must consume it to live. Eating lower down in the chain doesn’t solve anything. Vegetarianism is often presented as if it were a morally superior choice and therefore choosing it makes one a better, superior human than those who do not. I disagree.

    “I am offended by the self-righteous wealthy elite liberals who, if they had their way, would have me starve so they could puff themselves up. The consequence of putting into practice the policies that liberal elites favor, all organic farming, all vegan diet etc. is that I and many millions more, would starve.”

    So you would be starving yourself I assume because you wouldn’t want to live in a world that forced people to be responsible for what they eat.

    No, in world where all food is grown organically I would starve because 1) not enough food for all could be grown and 2) I could not afford it, meat or vegetables. Some foods are already out of my price range and once peak oil hits in the next few years the prices will really skyrocket. Wealthy liberal elites like to fantasize that everyone should enjoy their fetishized consumer choices. What I hear you liberal elites saying when you tell me I should eat organic and/or vegan is:

    Let them eat cake.

    I’m looking forward to you suffering the same fate as the last person who uttered that phrase.

    “Turning vegan solves nothing, it just turns you into a modern preening dandy.”

    I remember high school too and how being gay is actually the worst thing in the world. When people imply doing something that’s good for yourself and for the world is gay – its a call to do the opposite so lets all stop being fags and just start eating each other right now.

    Please, I’m not referring to that. I’m referring to the narcissism of someone who thinks “Why can’t everyone be like me? Why can’t everyone make the same choices I do?” when in fact if those choices were universalised it would mean that poor folk like me would suffer.

  114. You joke about genetically engineering an all female chicken species, but it might not be that hard. Alligators are hatched male or female depending on temperature. So let’s borrow that idea from nature. It might be as easy as adding a temperature sensitive gene next to the gender gene of a chicken. Now you can produce any proportion of males to females by adjusting the thermostat. Effectively doubles the yields for the farmers, so you don’t even have to convince them with morality or laws.

  115. Noen, the rest of us knew you weren’t making an anti-gay reference when you said “a modern preening dandy.” Also “lets all stop being fags and just start eating each other right now” is one of the most unintentionally hilarious things I’ve read all week.

  116. If there’s a faster and less cruel method, that will not cause environmental degradation (which is cruel to everyone, not just chickens), we should use it.

    BAHUMAT, you have my respect for proposing something better than gassing or poisoning, but I think you’ve overestimated the pressure requirements ^_^

  117. This is all really sweet, but why worry? American and British chicks wouldn’t suffer if we come up with a solution, but all the other chicks in this big wide world would. Especially after all the nasty processing factories sell the grinders on to other countries (just like the airlines do with their old aircraft).

    I’m much, much more concerned about changes in India and China, and the treatment of animals, particularly in China … no-one really wants to take it up in this thread … maybe it seems rude.

    btw @149 and all the genetic-engineers … isn’t it a wee bit silly to tamper with the coding? Ol’ Mother Nature did a good job so far.

  118. I can think of no better visual distillation of modern meat consumption than the Haarslev PB30/60 in action. It’s Upton Sinclair meets snuff film. I’m not against meat eating per se (in moderation mind you) but when it becomes industrialized it’s horrifically pitiful and a sad statement on our capacity for compassion. Be Warned, this is a very graphic clip, but in a way it’s just the sort of stuff the industry doesn’t want you to associate with their tidy packaged steaks and ground chuck. I’ve heard they boil the stuff after it goes through these machines (to kill everything) but a prion doesn’t die, so mad cow is pretty much an inevitability.

  119. I agree with #21, the answer is generic engineering or cloning.

    The problem is the same people protesting this would likely protest the solution.

    I don’t want any animal to suffer needlessly but I think eating meat is natural for humans. We just need to do it ethically and responsibly. I watch a TV show called kill it cook it eat it and I feel better for it because I’ve seen the entire process.

  120. Xeni – The video shows the operation at a hatchery. Where they hatch chickens.

    I want to make that clear, because that’s where “happy chickens” that lay “happy eggs” come from. How many hens does Mark have? An approximately equal number of male chicks died at the hatchery where Mark bought his hens. I can guarantee it.

    I have my own backyard hens so that I can have “happy eggs” too. I’m under no illusion about what happened to the roosters. You shouldn’t labor under that illusion, either.

  121. Male birds cannot produce eggs, so are slaughtered. Since the start of the poultry industry, roosters have not been necessary- artificial insemination, hormones (i.e. science) now rule the roost.

    Is this where feminism sees humanity in 100 years? I say we outlaw IVF and artificial insemination procedures. If we don’t we’re nearly certain to run into this problem with humans eventually. Female babies live and prosper, male babies turned into Soylent Green.

  122. Pteryxx said:

    “We are entirely responsible for the animals we use, whether for food, research, breeders, or pets.”

    We are entirely responsible.



  123. @Homestar

    Well, that’s the only thing my wife really needs me for- and I intend to work that angle for as long as I can.

  124. @noen

    I will respond saying calling someone a dandy IS the same as calling them gay – the implications are the same. Its like instead of calling someone a nggr you just called them “boy”. Even if the word itself has a secondary reference and sounds less offensive – you basically got the same meaning across. If insulting gay people isn’t your intention then don’t use slang for gay as a derogatory reference for someone your trying to put down.

    That is all.

  125. Re #141:

    “Translated from the metric that is
    up to 10 pounds of grain for 1 pound of beef
    4-5 pounds of grain for 1 pound of pork
    2-3 pounds of grain for 1 pound of chicken

    For every 16 once rib eye consumed, there could be 10 pounds of grain used to feed the hungry. Plant production is way, way more efficient.”

    But the underlying, invisible assumption is that CAFO-factory farming is the only way to get meat. Those numbers aren’t the cost of meat, they’re the cost of factory farming.

    Pigs can be grown on scraps and forage, chickens on worms and bugs, and cattle on grass. Remember grass? It builds and protects soil and holds water in all those fields that haven’t been turned into pesticide- and fossil fuel-sucking monocultures.

    The best description of sustainable farming that I know of is Polyface Farms as described in Omnivore’s Dilemma. On 100 acres of prairie pasture, plus the woodlot, it produces:

    30,000 dozen eggs
    10,000 broilers
    800 stewing hens
    50 beeves (25,000 pounds of beef)
    250 hogs (25,000 pounds of pork)
    1,000 turkeys
    500 rabbits

    as cited in the book, with no fertilizers and minimal input. The chickens are also slaughtered on site, in an open-air abbatoir where customers are welcome to watch. Very relevant to this discussion.

  126. @155 and other who talk about eating meat being somehow ‘natural’.

    This is a completely and utterly bogus argument.

    There are a great many things humans can do…this is not necessarily one we should continue.

    This notion of ‘natural’ is unspecified. Do you mean we are genetically capable or this is necessary. There are a great many activities we no longer engage in – discrimination against women being one of them (to the same degree and acceptability that is).

    The same argument of ‘natural’ has been used for centuries to excuse a change in behaviour. Please describe what this ‘natural is’ before extending the argument – remember that it is also ‘natural’ that we get various diseases, but it is far from ‘natural’ that we inject ourselves with weak or inactive parts of those disease to inocculate ourselves. Do you suggest we stop these ‘unnatural’ practices.

    To quote a famous (Australian) person, “Please explain?”

  127. @ #166 – Someguyontheinternets,

    I think you’re way out of line here. I didn’t take his comment that way, and others have posted to say they didn’t either. Is it possible your own prejudices are coloring your perception, yo?

  128. Some animals eat meat. They kill other animals to eat. If they want they will kill you to eat. Do they care? No, it’s called the food chain.

  129. FYI – there are some male chicks that are raised beyond this. This ( is the only operating capon farm in existence to my knowledge. If we want to reduce culling, support capon consumption to provide a monetary incentive not to grind them. Most farmers and especially low level workers who handle culling are most interested in their own survival, not the wellfare of baby chicks or any other animal. Sad but true.

  130. Eating meat is completely “natural” because it appears in every culture on the planet, regardless if they’re even considered ‘civilized.’

    I do dislike chicken and turkey though, I find in the scheme of things to be among the least useful animals you can commonly consume.

    Turkeys are useless, they’re unclean, boring to hunt, a nuisance in the suburbs, ugly, and don’t typically provide eggs to subsidize growing them.

    Chickens at least provide eggs, but are also unclean, ugly, and need to be fried or hot sauced into pallatability in my opinion.

    Beef at the very least yields rodeos, milk, leather, work (oxen), rodeos (yahoo!) and are much cleaner than poultry. Sure you can’t exactly hunt them, but in terms of usefulness and harvesting, they’re a pretty solid bet. And all you need is salt, pepper, and an open flame to make a meal to end all others.

  131. the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) has a PDF of approved euthanasia methods. I’m pretty confident this isn’t on the list.

  132. SomeGuyOnTheInternets, it is NOT the same. I’ve been a gay man my entire adult life, and before that I was a gay teen, and before that I was a gay child, and I say it’s not.

    There are things that ARE the same. There’s ‘flamboyant’, for example, used quite recently in tones that mean the person is just barely refraining from calling someone a snttbg. Pauline Kael called someone “limp-wristed” back in the 70s, and that meant the same thing.

    But a preening dandy is an overdressed fop. YOU may associate being gay with overdressing foppishness, but it’s less common in the society as a whole. Moreover Noen used the word ‘modern’, implying that her sense of the phrase ‘preening dandy’ is of something that is NOT modern. She meant the modern equivalent of an Edwardian fop, not a queerboy. She could have been more explicit, but I for one never felt the twinge that I do with, say, the word ‘sissy’, and was quite startled when you brought it up.

    You’re new here, according to your post list. You may not be aware that Noen and I have not typically gotten along terribly well. But in this case you wrong her.

  133. If this thread is even still getting read – then I will apologize to Noen for jumping down her throat over the dandy thing – I found the first part of that post she made to be very ignorant (veganism will not equal starvation) and that line at the end was the icing on the cake for me. I feel very strongly about how animals are being exploited and when people choose to dismiss me and everyone who feels the same as “modern preening dandies” just for giving a shit about something other than another human being it makes my blood boil.

    I think partly because I’ve heard many MANY people dismiss vegetarians as just being fags I found that line to be in line with that type of thinking. I kind of still do but I can understand if you were just trying to find a more colorful phrase than “modern preening morons” for example.

  134. ohhhhh myyyyyy godddddd!!!!! i mean… i eat chicken and everything but that wass TERRIBLE!! im a freshman in high school and i had to write a repoet on a aricle in the newspaper and how it had to do with history, science, or english. after reading this article it reminded me of of mice and men. in which i just had to read in english. it reminded me of how upset i was when goerge killed lennie, just because he had no good use. what kind of shit is that. why would u kill baby chicks in the most terrible way just cuz they’re ussless. i agree with the guy who said “if this was cats or dogs would we aprove” hell no we would not!!! i would be PEIST! after watching that idk if ill ever eat and kind of chicken agin!!!!! and to the people who did this in iowa… SCREW YOU!!!

  135. Watching so many people insist that all they have to do to avoid this is buy “free range” or from their neighbors, as in both this post and many of its comments, is really, really frustrating. However “well” people treat their hens once they get them, even the hens used for free-range and backyard egg operations come almost exclusively from hatcheries just like this one. These are the same places that ship female chicks to people’s homes and to feed stores. This is not a “factory farming” issue. It’s an egg-farming issue. Period. Everyone seems to be missing that point.–not_just_for_factory_farms

  136. Re #180:

    “This is not a “factory farming” issue. It’s an egg-farming issue. Period. Everyone seems to be missing that point.”

    I was under the impression it was a cruelty issue.

    Yes, males are useless for egg production. They are going to be culled. In my opinion, the most reasonable solution is to demand that hatcheries cull their males humanely, and punish them if they don’t.

    Egg producers who are willing to go to the trouble and expense of producing free-range, organic, naturally nested eggs probably are also willing to buy their chicks from a cruelty-free hatchery, if someone were to open such a thing. The backyard producers definitely would.

  137. All of us watch the chicks as though we were separate from what is happening to them. Guess what, you are on another conveyer belt heading for a meat grinder just like the chicks. Your chances as a woman are 1 in 3 that you will get cancer, for men its 1 in 2, those are epidemic numbers. Given a little more time and getting cancer for men and women will be 100% (I remember a time when it was 1 in 1000 do you). Modern medicine is a profit business like the chicken factory that can see no profit in cures that is why there has not been a cure for even the simplest disease like herpes in over a half a century. Their business is squeezing more money out of dying people via treatments not cures (Yet they still ask for our money to find a cure, ironic huh). Anyway you are on a conveyer belt it is just fancier. But it is just as horrible and inhuman. Right now thousands of your fellow human beings are screaming their lungs out because there is not drug strong enough to stop the pain. In your future there is a bed waiting for you and I am sorry but you will remember this comment. There is one way to avoid this fate and that is become what you really are. And what is that you ask? If you are a human being you are a vegan plain and simple. If you are not a human being you are on that conveyor belt heading for that cancer treatment bed. May God have mercy on your soul?

  138. Padraig, humans have molars, incisors, and canines. Human remains from pre-agricultural societies have ZERO incidence of tooth caries (dental cavities). The introduction of bread invariably produces ten thousand years of human pain and suffering from rotting teeth, as well as local extinction of plant and animal species from agricultural land conversion and associated ecosystem disruption.

    “Nature” is a dynamic equilibrium of many species co-evolving with and within their local ecosystems. Disruption of the dynamic equilibrium to achieve harmony with philosophical dogmas that ignore natural states seems horrifyingly immoral to many people. Factory farms, whether of plants and animals, can be seen as atrocities committed against the global ecosystem we all are part of.

    Thus, to eat “naturally” is to respect the other species we share the universe with, and for humans that means lots of fish, no processed sugars, no milled grains, lots of raw or stewed fruits and vegetables, and some meat. The typical vegan diet is “unnatural” in this light.

    I’m explaining the logic because you asked. I’m not interested in attempting to convert you or persuading you to have any particular worldview.

  139. This is why I don’t use eggs. I use a flax seed/water mix instead of eggs in baking. Eggs are not healthy for us, the animals, or the environment. It’s so easy to get egg-free.

  140. The problem is, how to end this and keep us all fed? Veganism? Subsistence farming? Don’t be silly, both of these would lead to massive appropriation of land for agriculture and destruction of natural habitats (also keep in mind that a lot of prime arable land has been turned into a concrete jungle), as well as a massive shift of labor into the agricultural sector (which may sound nice in a crisis, but it’d be a return to pre-industrial times). Otherwise they would never satisfy demand.

    The fact is that these abhorrent practices are necessitated by our ever-escalating appetite for resources, including meat and eggs. This cruelty is what powers our civilization. We are oblivious to it, because we’ve been able to confine it into neat hatcheries and slaughterhouses, we’ve made it invisible. But it’s here and we cannot exist without it. So how to get out of this predicament?

    I see two possible solutions. Unfortunately, one of them is very bad for us, and the other is science fiction that’s unlikely to ever come true during our lifetimes.

    Solution number one is a drastic reduction in human population. Simple – fewer hungry mouths consume fewer resources.

    Solution number two is SCIENCE!!!. Perhaps stem cell research and related fields could one day make possible the cultivation of animal muscle tissue without having to raise and harvest the complete animals. Then this business in its current form would be over, and instead we’d just grow large tracks of pure meat in giant vats of agar or something.

    But until one or the other happens, there’s no hope for the chicks and other animals. :(

    And as for those talking about the “food chain” and stuff like that: I hope they get mauled to death by a hippo or a cheetah, that might teach them a thing or two about the “food chain”. They probably don’t even work in a slaughterhouse, so quit acting so cool.

  141. I know this situation is crazy and obviously crazy cruel, but in no way is that going to make me stop eating eggs.

  142. I know how these baby chicks feel because I had a little kitten that died out side in the cold with her older brother

  143. I understand animal business practices… Just imagine what would happen if all those chickens were not put down… who would care for them? Who would feed, water, and raise them… I know I can’t afford to.. can you afford to feed them all? No, I bet you can’t… so they are disposed of as regulated by law and made into dog food, cat food, or some meat product that can be profitable. Many birds of pray at zoos eat dead chicks. The chicks have been suffocated to preserved the body, then frozen, shipped and feed to the birds or other animals. Its the same concept with mice, beef, turkey. How do you think the food got to your dinner table, do you think it magically appeared? It might not be a nice picture… but it has to be done, the only thing I can say, is if you want to make a difference, start with yourself.

    I only eat eggs and meat that I raise… If I raised it, I can eat it… that goes for turkey, chicken, beef, and eggs. I don’t eat pork. All my chickens, turkeys, and cattle get the best treatment… and the meat is delicious… way better than any restaurant or fast food joint. Try reading the book… “Eating Animals”. Don’t do what others tell you, think for you self, Don’t form an opinions or go along with others views because your too lazy to do the work and come up with your own idea.

    1. Total load of shit.
      These animals are killed because if they were raised for meat it might cut a few cents off the profit margin for the scumbags who raise them.

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