And their lives leading up to being suffocated, ground up alive, killed when their throat is slit, or scalded to death are no picnic, either.
Before They’re Killed
Each year in the U.S. alone, more than 300 million chickens endure nightmarish abuse on egg farms, and it all begins on the very first day of their life. Chicks bred for egg production are hatched in large incubators, and males and females are separated almost immediately. Males, considered unprofitable and therefore useless to the egg industry, are suffocated in trash bags or ground up alive.
Female chicks are sent to egg farms, where part of their sensitive beaks are cut off with a burning-hot blade. This mutilation occurs just hours or days after they hatch and without any pain relief.
On farms, hens are kept in total confinement—either in cramped wire “battery” cages, which hold up to 10 birds each …
… or in dark, crowded sheds, where each bird gets only about 1.2 square feet of floor space, like at this supposedly “free-range” egg farm:
Either way, the birds have to live among one another’s urine and feces.
Hens used for their eggs endure this misery and abuse for two years—until they’re killed.
Because of the stressful and filthy conditions described above, many hens die in the cage or on the shed floor.
Surviving hens are often forced to live alongside their dead and dying shed- or cagemates, whose bodies are sometimes left to rot.
Once the hens’ egg production begins to wane, they’re considered useless and killed. Some are gassed to death …
… while others are shipped to slaughterhouses, where they meet the same bloody end chickens raised for meat do—most of the birds’ throats are slit while they’re shackled and hung upside down, and other birds are scalded to death.
Take Action for Chickens
So there you have it—hens are killed for their eggs. Yet this hen’s life is more important than some cholesterol-filled omelet, isn’t it?
The only acceptable answer is yes. Chickens are inquisitive animals whose cognitive abilities are on a par with those of cats, dogs, and even some primates, according to leading animal behavior scientists. We’d never want our cats or dogs to be treated this way—so we shouldn’t support such cruel treatment of any individual.
Going vegetarian or buying “free-range” eggs isn’t enough. It’s not even close.
The “I only eat organic eggs” excuse is tired and means nothing to chickens. One PETA investigation after another has shown not only that chickens are killed for eggs but also that the abuse described above is rampant on factory farms and “free-range” or “cage-free” farms alike. Some of the footage above was captured at farms operated by companies that supply eggs to grocery stores like Kroger, Whole Foods, and Costco.