Millions of chickens were recently at risk of starvation because of train delays. According to Foster Farms, the delays had been happening since February and feed shortages reached critical levels.
Union Pacific, the only railroad company in North America with direct access to Foster Farms, blamed midwestern snowstorms, California floods, and Nevada rockslides for the delays. After Foster Farms warned that the chickens could end up killing each other if they went hungry, six trains loaded with corn were sent to a Foster Farm location in Livingston, California.
If supply chain issues threaten crops, vegetables may wilt in the field or fruit may die on the vine, but they don’t suffer. Plants have no central nervous system, so they can’t feel pain or fear. But humans and many other animals have developed similar central nervous system features, which means farmed animals killed for food likely feel pain in very similar ways as we do.
Chickens are already some of the most abused animals on the planet—even when they are properly fed. The vast majority of chickens raised for meat are forced to live in crowded sheds and denied almost everything natural and important to them, including sufficient space to roam, places to perch and dustbathe, and access to fresh air. The animals’ litter is rarely changed, and the acrid air stings their sensitive eyes and burns their throats. Because of the psychological stress of overcrowding, many chickens exhibit unnatural behaviors, such as pecking one another or cannibalism.
By choosing vegan foods, we can spare chickens and other animals a lifetime of neglect and misery. Choose plant-based foods for seven days and discover the impact you can make simply by eating more kindly. Click here to get started.
Cover Photo: Stefano Belacchi / Equalia / We Animals Media