Two major food service companies, Aramark and Compass Group, have committed to improving the lives chickens in their supply chain. This is a huge win for chickens
We still have a lot to do before we can make a real and lasting difference for meat chickens.
50 billion. It can be overwhelming to imagine the number of animals that are factory-farmed each year.
Nearly all countries have a large number of chickens, pork, and cows that are constantly being fed to satisfy the growing demand for meat.
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The next frontier in meat chickens
This year, there is a new animal welfare issue: the industrial farming and slaughtering of chickens for their meat. A typical chicken lives a miserable existence, being stuffed into a darkened warehouse or cage, and then slaughtered as a baby. They are suffering secretly, away from the public eye. This is the biggest issue in animal welfare. 40 billion of the 60 billion chickens that are raised each year for their meat are industrially farmed.
It was a great moment to see Aramark and Compass Group, two large food companies, commit to improving the lives of chickens. This includes using slower-growing breeds that allow birds to move more freely and providing natural light and enriching environments.
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These are the first commitments made to meat chickens and set the stage for 2017. Aramark and Compass Group are both reimagining the way they do business, realising that customers want change. We must continue to press the buttons and challenge other companies for change in order to save chickens.
Despite the positive actions of companies like Aramark and Compass Group, there is still much to be done for meat chickens. With the support of our supporters, we are working to get more companies moving in the right direction for animals.
Is there a runaway food system?
Some see the rise of industrial livestock farming as an unstoppable force. In 1964, Stanley Baker, The Guardian’s agricultural correspondent said that “[f]actory agriculture, whether we like or not, is here to stay.” The tide won’t be stopped
These views are not imaginative and fail to explain the massive rise in support for animal-friendly farming. Instead of seeing animals as inanimate, unfeeling, and immobile parts for a factory line they are being seen as living, breathing, and feeling beings. Instead of being intimidated by the enormity of the task, a unique opportunity is offered to transform the lives and futures of billions upon billions of animals.
Egg-laying hens are already experiencing change
We’ve seen seismic shifts in the farm animal welfare movement over the past few years. Caged hens are the latest battleground. This once-polarised issue is now a race for the top with companies trying to free hens from cruel cage systems. Nestle, McDonald’s, and Starbucks have all committed to eliminating the cages for hens.
Millions of hens can now live their lives without the confinement of a cage. Although there is still much to be done, it is a testament to the tireless efforts of many individuals and organizations, including ours, who have poured their energy into a movement for a better food system.
Chickens are chickens
Now is the best time to concentrate on chickens raised for meat, as many companies have made it a point to stop cages for hens. A chicken is a chicken. It’s okay to treat a hen like an inanimate object but not as a meat chicken. There’s no good reason! ).
Get involved now
We invite you to challenge KFC to make a change for chickens. KFC is a global brand that has the power and influence to make a difference in the lives of millions of chickens. Sign our petition and challenge KFC to end the suffering of chickens.