Chicks ground up alive, caught on video
The egg industry is known as one of the cruelest and inhumane on the planet. But an undercover video, filmed and publicized by the Chicago-based animal rights group Mercy for Animals shines the spotlight on an industry practice that is beyond horrific.
The video (below), which is not for the faint of heart, shows hundreds of unwanted male chicks being ground up ALIVE at an Iowa hatchery owned by Hy-Line North America, the nation's leading egg producer.
Mercy for Animals employee who got a job at the plant shot the video using a hidden camera and microphone. It shows a Hy-Line worker casually sorting through a conveyor belt of fluffy chirping chicks, "flipping some of them into a chute like a poker dealer flips cards."
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.
In addition to releasing the video to the press, Mercy for Animals also sent letters to the nation's 50 largest grocery store chains, including Walmart, Whole Foods, Safeway, Harris Teeter and Trader Joe's, asking them to include a label on egg cartons that reads: "Warning: Male chicks are ground-up alive by the egg industry."
Mitch Head, spokesman for United Egg Producers, told the Associated Press that Mercy for Animals had no credible authority in addition to having questionable motives. "This is a group which espouses no egg consumption by anyone." He also offered to provide the unwanted 200 million male chicks to "anyone who wants them," adding that no current market exists.
No federal law exists to ensure the humane euthanasia of animals on farms or hatcheries. According to the Humane Society of the United States, even egg farms that sell cage-free eggs, get their hens from hatcheries that kill their male chicks. (This to me is the worst news of all because it means few commercially sold eggs are truly "blood-free.")
Why is it "okay" in our society to treat chickens in this fashion? Does this information change the way you think about buying and eating eggs?
Undercover Investigation at Hy Line Hatchery
WARNING: kinda gnarly.
The most dangerous traps are the ones you set for yourself. - Phillip Marlowe