More chickens are raised and killed for food than all other land animals combined, but if more people understood the complex nature of these interesting animals, they would probably hesitate before consuming their flesh or eggs. Here are some of our favourite facts about chickens:
- Chickens can distinguish among more than 100 faces of members of their species – who knew that their memories rival those of elephants?
- Chickens have full-colour vision, just like we do.
“Inquisitive hens” by Peter Cooper / CC BY 2.0
- And they tell each other
… Read more.
A five-month undercover investigation by The Guardian, published this week, reveals some of the UK chicken industry’s darkest secrets.
The investigation focussed on meat processing plants that supply some of the UK’s largest supermarkets, including Tesco, M&S and Asda. It found that a shocking two-thirds of fresh retail chicken in the UK is contaminated with campylobacter, a potentially deadly cause of food poisoning. In the UK, approximately 280,000 people a year are thought to become ill from campylobacter (80 per cent of which comes from chicken).
Some of the images and … Read more.
We recently asked our supporters to join us in opposing plans to build an intensive broiler chicken production facility in Upton Snodsbury, Worcestershire.
We were overwhelmed by the response.
More than 26,000 people signed our letter to the Wychavon District Council urging planning officers to reject the proposal, which would condemn up to 160,000 chickens at a time to a life of unabated misery. On broiler farms – where chickens are raised for meat – birds are crammed into dark filthy sheds. They usually have the ends of their sensitive beaks cut … Read more.
Many compassionate people refuse to eat meat because they know that killing an animal for his or her flesh is wrong. They might not realise, however, that eggs, although unfertilised, still come at a terrible price.
The UK has a laying flock of 34.8 million chickens, each one of whom lays roughly 314 eggs per year. This flock includes both “barn” and “free-range” birds. Don’t be fooled by the labels, though, as these animals are still typically kept in squalid, crowded conditions; are often debeaked, a painful mutilation in which the … Read more.
In the small, picturesque village of Upton Snodsbury in Worcestershire, an atrocity has just been averted. There were plans to lock up 80,000 animals in windowless, claustrophobic sheds; mutilate them with red-hot blades; dose them with drugs; force them to grow so fast that they would risk organ failure and kill them before they reached adulthood.
All this and worse would have been the miserable fate inflicted on tens of thousands of chickens on a proposed broiler factory farm in Upton Snodsbury. But now, after actions from thousands of compassionate people, that … Read more.
Mums are awesome. But while you’re showing yours how much you love her on Mother’s Day – or, if you’re a mother yourself, enjoying some well-earned appreciation – it’s worth remembering that animals are often parents, too. Just like us, other animals have strong maternal instincts, feel instant love for their children and want to watch them grow up. But in the farming industry, they rarely get the chance: their babies are snatched away from them, never to be seen again.
Here’s a little more info about what it’s like to be … Read more.
Our colleagues at PETA US have come up with an ad that visualises just what eggs really are: chicken menstruation. It is a thought that makes us cringe, but chicken periods are exactly what you’re eating every time you fry, scramble or bake with eggs. We’ll spare you the full ad, but we’ve included a censored version below. If you are brave enough, visit PETA US’ website to see the full version.
- Pan: © iStockphoto.com/Uyen Le
As well as being gross, eggs are cruel. Birds suffer crippling leg injuries from standing … Read more.
Having received more than 1,200 of your objections, Cornwall Council has refused to give permission for a proposed intensive broiler chicken farm to be built in Callington, which would have condemned tens of thousands of birds to a life of misery and suffering.
Every day in the UK, 2.5 million chickens are cruelly slaughtered for meat – that’s 30 deaths every second.
Most chickens killed for meat never see the light of day. Their six-week life is spent inside a foul-smelling windowless shed with 30,000 to 40,000 other chickens, each with only … Read more.
PETA will soon begin distributing newly invented chicken-voice translators to factory farmers, slaughterhouse workers and chicken-transport companies that will allow the users to understand chicken “talk”. What they’ll learn is that chickens are intelligent and inquisitive animals who – just like us – want more than anything simply to live.
“Chickens have impressive communication skills”, says PETA’s Poorva Joshipura. “They have more than 30 types of vocalisations to distinguish between threats that are approaching by land and those that are approaching over water, and a mother hen begins to teach these calls … Read more.
We all love our mothers, even when – or perhaps, because – they interfere in our lives (for our own good, of course). But this Mother’s Day, while you are celebrating your own mum, remember that some of the best mothers in the world are found in the animal kingdom. Sadly, on UK factory farms, few animal mums are allowed to care for their young as nature intended.
Pigs, for example, are devoted mothers who, if allowed, would spend days building a nest of leaves or straw before giving birth. Then … Read more.