An undercover investigator with The Humane Society of the United States has given the world an eye-opening first look inside a “spent hen slaughterhouse in Minnesota, exposing standard industry cruelty that would be illegal if the victims weren’t birds. The graphic hidden-camera video shows egg-laying hens who have been discarded by the egg industry being violently shackled upside down, painfully immobilized with electric shocks, and often scalded alive and drowned in scorching hot water.
Despite the fact that more than 90 percent of the animals killed for food in the US are chickens, the United States Department of Agriculture specifically excludes poultry from the federal Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, which requires livestock to be rendered unconscious prior to slaughter. For no good reason, the USDA chooses to define “livestock as cows and pigs, but not chickens or turkeys, forcing billions of animals a year to endure almost unimaginable suffering at slaughter while still conscious and able to feel pain.
Watch the hidden-camera video here:
Perhaps worse than a torturous slaughter is the nightmare these birds endure throughout their short lives. Numerous undercover investigations by Mercy For Animals at egg factories across the country (including this, this and this) have revealed rampant animal abuse in the egg industry, including workers burning off the beaks of chicks without painkillers, sadistically and maliciously tormenting animals, and throwing live birds into plastic bags and leaving them to suffocate.
MFA has also exposed the standard egg industry practice of cramming birds inside barren, wire battery cages for nearly their entire lives. Typically, up to a dozen hens are crammed into a single cage. These cages are stacked in tiers inside giant windowless sheds that can run the length of two football fields. Each shed can confine hundreds of thousands of chickens, each with less space than a single sheet of notebook paper to live out her entire life. In such extreme confinement, these poor animals can’t even spread their wings, much less move around without stepping on and climbing over other hens.
Although these inherently cruel cages are now banned in California, millions of animals throughout the rest of the country continue to suffer in these gut-wrenching conditions. That is why MFA is calling on United Egg Producers—the industry trade group that represents nearly 90 percent of U.S. egg producers—to require all its members to go cage-free.
If you would like to help alleviate much of the misery hens endure at the hands of the egg industry, please sign our petition here.
But remember, as a consumer, you have enormous power to help put an end to the cruel exploitation of animals entirely by adopting a healthy and humane vegan diet. Visit ChooseVeg.com for great-tasting recipes and helpful tips for making the transition to a vegan lifestyle.