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Every year, the poultry industry calls September “national chicken month” in an attempt to boost slumping sales after grilling season.
We’re all for having a month for chickens–if that means we’re celebrating them and, most importantly, keeping them off our plates.
Chickens are intelligent and social individuals with rich lives, and an ability to feel pain and suffer just like we do. When raised for food or eggs, chickens endure horrors like overcrowding, filthy conditions, and painful procedures like debeaking without painkillers or anesthesia. Raised to grow at tremendous speeds, “broiler” birds (chickens raised for meat) who survive these conditions will be slaughtered at just two months old.
It isn’t just chickens raised for meat who suffer. Egg-laying hens suffer heartwrenching abuse, many kept in tiny battery cages with no space to turn around or even spread their wings. Males born into this industry are killed on their first day of life, because they cannot lay eggs.
This doesn’t have to be the reality. By shifting towards a plant-based diet, we can stop giving our money to corporations that torture animals for profit. But there are a few other ways you can help chickens, as well! We’ve put together five actions you can take to protect chickens this National Chicken Month.
1. Go Vegan!
The quickest way to personally refuse to contribute to animal suffering is to leave animals off your plate. By declining chicken and egg products, we can make it clear that birds are friends, not food. Besides, avoiding animal products not only saves chickens–it is better for the planet and your health. Check out these delicious chicken-free recipes at TryVeg.com.
2. Keep COK investigators in the field
Compassion Over Killing is dedicated to exposing cruelty behind closed doors. Time and time again we’ve revealed horrifying farm conditions, animal mistreatment, and worker safety issues. Donate today, and you’ll support our investigators and help keep their cameras rolling.
3. Support an animal sanctuary
Across the U.S., people have dedicated their lives to caring for farmed animals who have made it out of the animal agriculture industry alive. Many chickens have been rescued from negligent conditions. Others were saved during truck accidents, which are more common than you might think. Regardless of how they ended at sanctuaries, many of these birds need medical attention and lots of love. Search for a farm animal sanctuary in your area to find out how to donate or volunteer.
4. Sign our petition
COK has teamed up with other animal organizations to pressure McDonald’s to improve conditions for broiler birds in its supply chain. While the best way to save birds is to stop eating them, we can pressure companies to do better by birds at least until we finally see a vegan world. To learn more about how McDonald’s treats birds and to sign our petition, go to TruthAboutMcDonaldsChicken.com.
5. Ask for vegan options!
As a vegan diet becomes more mainstream, companies are starting to step up their plant-based game. Companies like BOCA and Lightlife have already eliminated eggs from their products completely (though some of BOCA’s products still contain cruel dairy). Meanwhile, coffee chains are pouring out non-dairy milk alternatives at the urging of COK campaigns and consumers. However, coffee and donut giant Dunkin’ Donuts uses dairy and/or eggs in all of its donuts. Today, we can help chickens by asking Dunkin’ to roll out a vegan donut. To sign our petition to Dunkin, check out WeLoveDunkin.com