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Unwanted Males Killed at Birth

Written by PETA | September 1, 2009

As a PETA blogger, I know that male chicks in the egg industry are simply discarded and killed—but knowing about it didn’t make watching it any easier.

This footage from an undercover investigation by Mercy for Animals shows workers at an Iowa hatchery killing 150,000 newborn male chicks every single day.

Chicks born at hatcheries are sent off to slaughter the very day they take their first breath. The only lives these babies know is one in which they are sorted and handled like pieces of garbage. Workers grab them by their wings, toss them onto conveyor belts, and throw them down a chute to spend their final moments in a grinding machine—in which they are ground up while they are still alive.

All this is standard procedure, widely accepted at commercial hatcheries and within the bounds of animal welfare laws. The egg industry considers male chicks to be useless because they don’t lay eggs and can’t be raised profitably for meat. Their sisters are not exactly lucky to remain alive.

For anyone who thinks that eating eggs doesn’t kill animals, millions of male chicks each year are born in hatcheries and promptly thrown into the blades of giant garbage disposals.

Egg-free recipes, anyone?

Commenting is closed.
  • 박도현 says:

    so terrible. please stop..

  • Nicole says:

    This is so sad!!! Imagine if this happened to humans and it was your brothers!

  • I myself can’t watch these videos but I cry at just the thought of what happens in them. I can’t understand the cruelty these poor babies are subjected to because these idiots say that they are just stupid animals. Well maybe they should look in the mirror at their ugly murdering faces! Live with that thought OK?

  • Regina says:

    I am horrified!!!

  • Marlene van Heteren says:

    WHY do we keep on treating innocent animals like THINGS without any feelings? It hurts my heart to see this useless abuse to ANY animal!! Please make them stop!

  • Arunima Pradhan says:

    aren’t humans supposed to be the most compassionate beings on earth? This is disgusting.

  • michaela says:

    Its sad but some stuff we need but I’m sure there is a better way to do it and with all the fur there should not be and leather that’s sick u could be using our own dog

  • Becky peraza says:

    I Could not bring myself to watch the killing of these baby chicks. Why?? The meat and poultry industries are violating to the extreme the simple law, respect life. Stop this murdering of these innocent animals.

  • kay may says:

    terrible sickening why is this allowed to happen .. so sad this makes .me sick 🙁

  • vijayraj jain says:

    I love animal , they are like us. They have live. They also feel pan if kill them. So god is not give permission to kiil to some boday.
    Thanking you who will eat only vegatable. And love to all animal. Because animals is for love not eat them.

  • T says:

    i want to find a way to protect baby male chicks. How can we do this? Can we have a rooster sanctuary that hatcheries can give them to? what is the answer…sure going vegan helps but babies still die during the process of others not going vegan. Can roosters grow up big and do well together or do they fight? i really want to help these little innocent creatures, its not right. Humans are the worst thing on this planet.

  • cassie arrowood says:

    these people are so sick and sorry

  • Clay says:

    In the past I was a vegetarian, but I am going vegan now.

  • Charlotte says:

    It’s absaloutley shocking that this isn’t banned. It’s also depressing that even free range eggs are not cruelty free. It absaloutley MAKES ME SICK .the fact that these people arnt put in prison for murdering 100’s of animals is pathetic and inhuman.

  • suwarna says:

    Every time I read animal torturing reports and think its the worst and every new news reveals the more pathetic forms of so called human beings.. i just could not understant how these monsters could even touch those extreme delecate and cute creature so cruely..

  • Amy says:

    It appears that the male of any species including humans are considered more disposable than the female. And one wonders why females are the stronger and the superior gender

  • b says:

    i cant watch the video but i can imagine how horrible and cruel and wrong it is i cry every day its always in my mind of the cruelty im 35 and i havent eaten meat for 30 years a desicion i made at just 5 years old after seeing a cow being slaughtered on the tv. i dont eat eggs or any dairy for just as long. something more has to be done to stop this cruelty there will always be people that eat eggs and meat something has to be done to stop this cruelty why is nothing being done? this has to stop! even if it means finding the factorys myself and blowing them all up I WILL! this cruelty needs to be stopped immediatley!

  • Kit says:

    Nazi death camps were tame compared to what’s going on with these defenseless male chicks.

  • Sarah says:

    I am appalled by this! just disgusting. It broke my heart to watch this. Even the tiniest of creatures deserve compassion. I cant beleive the lack of care or compassion for living things that feel pain just like any other creature. Oh also just commenting on Edwards post… I myself am not vegan but I dont think the narrator was pushing viwers to be vegan like Amanda said its awareness

  • Tammy McKinzie says:

    I am a vegetarian but do eat eggs. I also do dairy. I couldn’t bring myself to watch the video. The thought of those babies dying such a horrible death was too much. There would be nothing wrong with dairyeggs if humans would just show compassion. How do we expect to ever live with each other if we can’t be humane to the vulnerable?! When do we start picking and choosing those in the human race that matter more than others? Hitler anyone?!

    • david says:

      Tammy if you get your eggs at a local farm then you will not contribute to this cruelty. It’s good to educate yourself on where your eggs and dairy come from. I personally don’t eat dairy, but with eggs I buy the expensive local kind.

  • roseann says:

    What savagery and plain obscene to see these poor defenseless creatures murdered by a very sick and putrid and puke bunch of Convicts Australian!!!!!!

  • Evanora Rios-Monroy says:

    I did not see the video because it is not necessary to see more cruelty in order to repudiate it. The killing of animals and more this defendless babies is disgusting and horrible. All living creatures deserve respect and the right to live and our responsibility as superior race” is to take care of them and not to be their assassin

  • Hanh says:

    i couldn’t imagine that they kill all those cute males It’s so wrong

  • gaetani says:

    this is horrible what can we do to stop this unhumane horrible killing of gods little creatures .. what can we do … ?? please broadcast to media please …

  • gina says:

    I am horrified at the thought of watching this video So I didnt. Ive seen enough of these horrific videos that I can imagine what is about to be shown. I sit here and cry for God’s creatures.I dont understand this. There has to be something done. The ones that do this are not human beings. How would they like being handled this way?

  • natalie spencer says:

    i cant beleive what this world has now come to. there’s just so much cruilty its horrible! these people do not care about theses poor chicksthey shouldnt have they faces covered up let every one see them so they can be shamed!



  • Kelly says:

    This is crazy!! How could someone handle such yellow innocent chicks in such a manner! Killing male chicks alive!!! I wish i could pick everyone up from the industry and throw them in alive and see how they feel!

  • sasha says:

    I saw the vid copied to HuffPo. I think people should be fully informed of what the complete cost of their food is. Eggs aren’t “victimless” even if you can rationalize barns crowed with hens laying as acceptable and humane. If you are appaled and disgusted don’t make eggs such a popular food source…these practices are driven by profit alone and deep rationalization. And yah this should absolutely be illegal. Bottom line some company is creating the machenery to do this going hand in hand with the hatchery. The complicity runs deep.

  • virginia gome says:

    thia is for EdwardI also don’t appreciate the narrator try to push veganity on me. No one is trying to push veganity on youyou can think for yourself and make your own decisions unless you are somehow mentally disabled.

  • Jessica says:

    We had the same sotry here recently in SA. This particualr farmer threw all the males into an old unused dam and they either suffocated to death or died from thirst. Since then 2 of our major retailers have refused to do business with this particular farmer and made it national news. Yes these retailers will still stock chicken and eggs however not from this idiot in particular.

  • Pam says:

    We must DEMAND CRUELTY FREE eggs for those who will not give them up encourage EVERYONE to tell their friends to BOYCOTT all eggs unless they know someone who raises them compassionately if they MUST eat them at all!! Until then there are alternatives for those who insist on their taste. Let’s get Peta to come out with a crueltyfree logo for hens handled compassionately!!!

  • Sue Trayling says:

    This is absolutely horrendous. God help the human race which is capable of these horrors and God help the victims of our abuse.

  • Sydney says:

    that was horrible!! I can’t believe how someone could do that day after day!? I could bearly watch that for four minutes and they sit there for hours. I just thank God that I’m a vegan. I’m 13 and I’ve already got one freind vegan.

  • Teresa says:

    I don’t want to watch the viedo because it will just make me angery. I’m so sick and tired of people hurting animals. I’m sure these poeple that work in this industry have no heart for the baby chicks. I wonder if they would do that to their children? Please don’t write and say that you can not compair the two. To me an animals life is just as important as a human life. I will risk my life for the life of an animal. Anyway this needs to be stopped. We are becoming very barberic in this country. God did not intend for animals to be abused or killed just for the heck of it. So all those that take pleasure in hurting animals you will answer to God some day. GOD HELP US.

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Debbie They don’t grow as fast or as big as broiler or specificallybred meat chickens so they’re not “economical” for that purpose. The industry thus deems them disposable and does away with them. Not eating eggs is the best way to fight back.

  • sanjuro says:

    This and the slaughter or dolphins really turns the day into a nightmare. Something HAS to be done about it it’s not just about becoming vegan it’s about overconsumption food waste reversing industrialisation in the food processing involving animals. This is scandalous nobody is doing or trying to do anything in that direction. Things could be achieved if somebody bothered to look into them take down factories return animals to the farms and their natural environments let the animals live control consumption size it down!

  • Kimberly says:

    Do you think they can really STOP this horror?…I hope so….Can’t they save the males or resue them? Can they change laws on this..Why isn’t it illegal to begin with. I still eat meat and eggs but am against this horror…cruel..please stop them..