Here’s why chickens should be #friendsnotfood
Chicken consumption is sadly on the rise in the UK. Despite chickens being intelligent, social and compassionate little souls, we exploit them; giving billions of them an unimaginably torturous life just to provide us with a meal.
Not only that, these animals are suffering and dying in mind-blowing numbers for food that we don’t need. With all of the tasty, healthy and versatile products out there that mimic the taste and texture of chicken meat, it’s completely unjustifiable that we cause so much unnecessary suffering to so many.
Here’s a list of amazing facts about chickens to share with your family and friends!
- Chickens can recognise more than 100 individuals, including humans. They don’t forget people that are kind to them, and make great friends!
- Chickens experience REM sleep, and dream just like us.
- Chicken communication is highly sophisticated. They have more than 30 vocalisations, including calling their babies, alerting others to danger and to food.
- Chickens are the closest living relative to the t-rex!
- Chickens display empathy for their babies. Studies have found that they show signs of feeling the pain of another chicken, behaviour central to compassion.
- Chicken mums talk to their unborn babies before they’ve even hatched! Providing comfort and reassurance. When the chicks have developed enough, they talk back.
- Chickens will naturally lay around 20-30 eggs per year during breeding season, but on industrial egg farms, they are forced to lay close to 300. This intensive production saps their calcium, leaving their bones brittle and prone to breaking.
- Chickens are born with a basic understanding of arithmetic, problem-solving, quick learning and retention of information; similar to rhesus monkeys and human toddlers!
- Chickens naturally spend over 60% of their time foraging and exploring their environment for food. But on factory farms, chickens have no space to move and nothing to interact with. In the UK, a space about the size of an A4 piece of paper for each chicken, is legal.
- Chickens can tolerate cold weather, even doing fine in the snow.
As they cannot sweat, in hot weather they cool themselves by putting their beaks in cold water, panting and flapping their wings. On intensive farms, chickens are kept in giant, hot sheds, with poor ventilation. They have no room to flap their wings and many die as they struggle to breath in the acrid, hot air.
If you love animals, please consider leaving chickens off your plate. Every person that stops eating these smart, emotionally complex birds will help to reduce the number of chickens suffering on factory farms and increase the demand for the many delicious alternatives. Check out where you can find our favourite chicken substitutes on our Compassionate Options pages.