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U.K. Study: 5,500 Chickens Tossed in the Trash Every Single Day

Written by PETA | June 3, 2008

Remember when your mom would tell you that you should finish your food because there were kids in China who were going to bed hungry? Well, it turns out that moms in the U.K. never told their kids that—or the kids just plain didn’t listen. Earlier this month, the U.K.-based Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) reported that a lot of food—much of it unopened and not yet expired—gets tossed by U.K. consumers. Perfectly good bread, potatoes, vegetables, baked goods, and packaged meals wind up in British landfills. Also on the list: 1.5 million (yes, million) single-serving containers of yogurt and 5,500 whole chickens (yes, five thousand and five hundred whole chickens on Styrofoam trays and wrapped in plastic) get discarded every single day in the U.K.Now, I don’t consider the corpse of an animal to be food. I don’t want that suffering anywhere near my plate. But the fact that there are people who will unthinkingly buy what in essence is misery wrapped in plastic and then throw away that misery without a second thought pretty much makes me lose my lunch (and breakfast and dinner). I remember reading once that in commercial egg operations, it can take a hen 34 hours to lay a single egg. I would see a plate of half-eaten scrambled eggs left by a diner in a restaurant or a recipe that called for just part of an egg with the rest presumably discarded, and I would wonder how many hours of suffering were represented in that waste. There are oceans of misery and oceans of indifference, but with all our teaspoon acts of kindness and mercy, we might just be the change that this world needs. —GracePosted by Grace Friedan, Researcher

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  • Holly says:

    oh yes they had permission from the Grocery store to do this experiment… Go Vegan…

  • Holly says:

    Yes that is true. I have friends who lived out of Grocery store trash eating only vegetarianfor more than a year as an experiment years ago and did very well. Its a very bad thing to waste food. Go Vegan…

  • Caroline B says:

    It’s not just consumers throwing the food away. Everyday the supermarkets here throw away perfectly good food fully packaged because it has gone past the date they can legally sell it. However if you take the unwanted food that will be in an incinerator the next day you will be convicted of theft. The same goes for staff in restaurants who take food not eaten such as the chicken some of you have been served. The thing that makes me sick is a TV chef started his own chicken factory to highlight to the British public what chickens who are farmed for meat go through and people didn’t really care. Fair enough not everyone wants to be a vegetarian but these people were more interested in saving money than buying chicken that was ethically farmed. So it’s not just any chicken people are throwing away. It’s the cheap chicken that had the worst possible start in life sitting in the amonia soaked carcasses of other chickens never seeing natural light.

  • Alyck says:

    murder of a human can get you life in prison. murder of a cat or dog can get you 25yrs murder of millions of cows chickens pigs lamb and other animals multibillion industry. yep thats fair.

  • lynda downie says:

    To put a beautiful bird through a brutal hellish life and death just to toss out her butchered body shows just how grossly selfish humans can be.

  • Holly says:

    We have a chinese resterant here in Pa. The owner has family living in China who were effected by the earth quake. She told us she understands hunger from living in China. At her resterant she asks people not to waste food and to remember the poor. She is not a vegetarian but serves vegetarian dishes. I respect her. I also hope one day she wont serve meat. Go Vegan

  • Soli says:

    Rachel I have been in similar situations where a mistake was made and animal products ended up being delivered to my table at a restaurant and I too was troubled by the possible waste. The solution I’ve come up with isn’t perfect but what I do is ask that the food they’re going to toss be put into a togo container for me to give to a homeless person on the way home from the restaurant a lot of homeless people in my neighborhood!. Again not perfect because the animal has already suffered and in many cases died but at least this way there isn’t so much colossal waste. I also support Food Not Bombs which provides vegan meals to the homeless in my area.

  • BB says:

    Brigitte Bardot is The Best!

  • Eric says:

    Wow…that whole life of misery suffering painful death and all for what? To be thrown away? This makes me truelly sick.

  • Holly says:

    A French court has fined former film star Brigitte Bardot 15000 euros 12000 for inciting racial hatred. She was prosecuted over a letter published on her website that complained Muslims were “destroying our country by imposing their ways”. It is the fifth time Ms Bardot been convicted over her controversial remarks about Islam and its followers. This is her heaviest fine so far. The French film idol who is 73 was not in court to hear the ruling. The fine equivalent to $23000 related to a letter she wrote in December 2006 to the then Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy which was published on her website in which she deplored the slaughter of animals for the Muslim festival of Eid alAdha. She demanded that the animals be stunned before being killed. She said she was “tired of being led by the nose by this population that is destroying us destroying our country by imposing its acts”. In a letter to the court Ms Bardot who is a prominent animal rights campaigner insisted she had a right to speak up for animal welfare. The prosecutor said she was weary of charging Ms Bardot with offences relating to racial hatred and xenophobia.

  • rachel says:

    today i went out to an indian buffet where most the food is veg. for some unknown reason though they bring out bread makes sense and a huge plate of chicken! to each table when you arrive. we specified to everyone we saw we didnt want any meat but coming back from the buffet someone had given us chicken! i was so angry knowing that it was probably going to be thrown away since they had already ‘given’ it to us. i looked at the plate with all the poor little legs and wings on it and it made me sick. and then knowing it was going to get tossed made me feel even worse. the whole thing just makes me so sad and disgusted.

  • Jason Sydney Norton says:

    I am equally outraged by the findings of this study. To think that so many animals suffer and die unnecessarily just so they can be thrown into a freezer and then later discarded without so much as the slightest thought as to immense cruelty that they fell subject to in the name of human gluttony.

  • Holly says:

    know the difference between wants and needs when buying food. Waste not Want not. Go Vegan… Boycott the Belmont Stakes this weekend june 7th!

  • Pamela Oates says:

    they say ignorance of the law is no excuse…i feel the same way about this issue…i mean people do know that they are eating animals right?