Published by Ashley Palmer.

May is International Respect for Chickens Month, so let’s spring into action and hatch a plan to help hens! These curious, social animals deserve our respect all year round—but you can go the extra mile this month by learning more about chickens and what you can do to help them.

white chicken with flowers

These facts will motivate you to keep chickens’ flesh and eggs off your plate:

  • Chickens are smart. Leading animal behavior scientists from around the globe know that chickens are inquisitive and interesting animals whose cognitive abilities are on a par with those of cats, dogs, and even some primates. Why love one and eat the other? The answer is simple: speciesism, or the misguided belief that some species are more deserving of compassion than others.
  • They’re extremely social. Chickens form complex social structures known as “pecking orders,” and every chicken knows his or her place on the social ladder.
  • Mother hens are protective of their young. Much like human mothers who talk to their babies in the womb, mother hens begin to teach calls to their chicks before they even hatch.
  • Chickens are among the most abused animals on the planet. In the U.S., the meat industry kills approximately 9 billion chickens for their flesh each year and the egg industry exploits 305 million hens for their eggs.
  • Life is hell for chickens on “free-range” or “organic” farms. Chickens on “cage-free” or “free-range” farms are sent from hatcheries, where workers often “debeak” them—or slice off the tips of their sensitive beaks with hot blades—to prevent the animals from hurting themselves or others out of severe distress. Deceptively labeled “organic” or “cage-free” farms often cram chickens together in filthy sheds and deprive them of space, fresh air, sunlight, and everything else that’s natural and important to them.
  • Chickens have no legal protection. Not a single federal law protects chickens from abuse, even though the meat industry slaughters more of them than all other land animals combined.  

Here’s How YOU Can Respect Chickens This Month

You can spare sensitive chickens by never eating their flesh or eggs. Pledge to go vegan, and share this page on social media to encourage others to make the compassionate switch as well. Click the button below for more ways to take action for chickens:

Take Action!