A series of shocking photos from central China has led to an international backlash. The images show nets brimming with tiny yellow bodies, as ducklings are drowned in vats of scalding-hot water on a poultry farm. According to reports, the farm where the images were taken kills male ducklings en masse when they’re just days old, and the preferred method of doing so is by drowning them in water heated to around 175 degrees. These animals are killed simply because they don’t lay eggs, which means they have no value to the industry. Their dead bodies are then reportedly de-feathered and sold cheaply to street vendors or sent off to be used as “pet food” for snakes. The distressing images are hard to look at, but they merely scratch the surface of a global problem that many people may not even be aware that they’re supporting.
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) February 22, 2017
In these photos, a man uses a wooden stick in an apparent attempt to keep the net full of ducklings underwater until they’ve all drowned.
— Jayne Cvetanoski (@justiceformary) February 23, 2017
While it’s easy to be outraged by these images of ducklings in China, people all over the world must channel that anger into action, which needs to start right at their own dinner table.
Millions of baby chicks and ducks are killed in horrific ways every year.
All over the world, male chicks born into the egg industry are deemed “useless” because they don’t lay eggs and haven’t been bred for their meat. They’re shoved into macerators and ground up alive. Hens’ short lives of egg-laying are typically spent in squalid, severely crowded conditions, before they, too, are killed when they’ve “served their purpose” and their production wanes. These things occur not only overseas but also right here in the U.S.
A PETA video exposé of Culver Duck Farms, Inc.—the second-largest duck slaughterer in the U.S.—reveals that ducks were kicked, thrown, slammed against walls, and kept in isolation for weeks. Workers killed ducklings deemed too small and therefore not useful to the company. One worker slowly pulled a baby duck’s head off, and a supervisor described this as “normal.” According to its website, Culver supplies duck meat to The Fresh Market and other grocery chains around the country. Duck meat sold at Whole Foods also comes from Culver, where “breeder” ducks were crammed by the thousands into massive, dark sheds.
Culver slaughters 25,000 ducks every day. Here’s a look at what anyone buying duck meat (or down-filled products) could be supporting:
Ending animal abuse depends on the decisions that we make when we open our wallets. Buying one animal-derived product often has deadly effects on other animals, all of whom value their lives and were once as small and helpless as the baby ducklings photographed in China. We can all play our part by leaving meat, eggs, and dairy products off our plates and opting instead for the many nutritious and delicious vegan foods that are readily available.