A woman’s reality came crashing down at dinnertime when she realized that her food was once a living, breathing, bleeding being.
Hannah Schofield had bought her family a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken for dinner. After she and her husband consumed a few chicken appendages, the mother of two put the leftover body parts in the fridge.
When eating the leftovers, she bit into a raw, bloody chicken thigh and was instantly horrified. She told reporters that when she tasted blood, she “couldn’t believe it,” and that she and her husband were sick for a few days afterward.
Far From Finger Lickin’ Good
Schofield has vowed never to eat food from KFC again. But if she thinks that a few bloody pieces of chicken flesh are a nightmare, she should consider that meat is also often contaminated with feces and other bodily fluids. On factory farms, workers have even been caught urinating on birds. Consumer Reports found that more than half of the chicken flesh it studied was tainted with fecal matter and that “97% of the breasts we tested harbored bacteria that could make you sick.”
Foodborne illnesses affect more than 76 million people annually and kill more than 5,000. Another study from Consumer Reports revealed that two-thirds of chickens observed were infected with either salmonella or campylobacter—or both.
What Do You Expect From Revolting and Filthy Factory Farms?
Chickens raised for their flesh—called “broiler” chickens by the meat industry—are typically confined to massive, windowless sheds that each hold tens of thousands of birds. Intensive confinement like this breeds filth and disease.
Birds are forced to breathe in ammonia and particulate matter from feces and feathers all day long. A Washington Post writer who visited a chicken shed said that “[d]ust, feathers and ammonia choke the air in the chicken house and fans turn it into airborne sandpaper, rubbing skin raw.”
Even if chickens raised for food are kept in smaller flocks, consuming their flesh can be just as dangerous. Researchers have found that smaller groups of chickens are actually more likely to carry salmonella, because they’re exempt from many governmental regulations.
Let’s End This Cruelty
Chickens are arguably the most abused animals on the planet. The best thing that you can do for them is to stop eating them and inform your friends about the many problems with raising chickens for food.
As the demand for vegan fare skyrockets, companies are developing more and more delicious cruelty-free foods that are much healthier than animal flesh and don’t hurt any living beings.