veggie rules

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Let's Just Boil 'Em Alive

Let me ask you a question.  Do you know how chickens are slaughtered?  Ooops, sorry, if you are currently biting into a chicken wing or chowing down on a drumstick …. Put it down for just a minute and read this.

The live chicken is flipped upside down by holding onto the legs.
It is then tied up.  At this point there is quite a high possibility that the chicken’s leg is broken or it’s not tied up correctly.
To stun the chicken prior to killing, it is slid through some water which has an electric current running through it.
The next process in this automated chain of events is the actual killing, which, in N.Z. is done by slitting the throat so the chicken will bleed to death.
The dead chicken is then put into scalding water for plucking.

If the chicken is not correctly trussed at the beginning (remember I said that there was a high possibility that this might happen?), this will mean that the killing blade will actually miss the chicken resulting in the chicken being put into the boiling water still alive.
Wait a minute …. Don’t we already do that with crayfish and lobster??????

I know you’re asking yourself, where is she going with this.  Well there is a proposal being finalized by the USDA to increase the maximum number of birds going over the line from 140 birds a minute to 175 birds for chickens and from 45 to 55 for turkeys.

My point is, that there already is a problem of birds missing the killing part and being boiled alive, this is only going to really increase those numbers.

I wrote to SAFE here in N.Z. to find out if we have the same speed and problems. They were unable to tell me the figures and directed me to the Ministry of Primary Industries.
In response to my email to MPI told me that the year to December 2013 there were 98,464,493 poultry birds slaughtered.  Divide that number by 365 days and by my calculations that makes it 269,765.73 birds per day .... WOW - so how many minutes in a day? 1440 - that's approximately 187 birds a minute.

Wait a minute, that can't be right - Where's the calculator, I've got to do this again.

The ministry said: "For the year to December 2013 98,464,493 poultry birds were slaughtered in New Zealand." - yup calculations are right - Holy Moly!!! I know that N.Z. is behind the rest of the world in a lot of things, but we're killing more chickens/turkeys per minute across our factory line than the USA.

SAFE did tell me that the killing method is the same and we do also have the issue of the chicken legs broken and some ending up still alive at the scalding pot.  I also got the letter below from Laura at SAFE …. Thought it worth adding

"Good luck on writing the chicken article! I wonder if people think about
that revolting process when they tuck into their KFC?

This very subject sparked a conversation in the office about end of lay
battery hens. Many of them don't even receive the "special" treatment of
the slaughterhouse process and are yanked out of their cages
(prisons/torture cells) by their feet or wings only to have their necks
broken, sometimes unsuccessfully by the farmer.

What a lovely way to say thank you to these animals who have given so much
for so little in return?

This makes me so sick to the stomach and angry that I said loads of bad
swear words in the office and had VISIBLE STEAM coming out of my ears.

I’ll let you get back to what you were doing …. Wasn’t it eating the chicken wing?  No?  What’s stopped you?

Thank you from the chickens.

Have Happy Animal Friends


  1. Great article, Fee!
    "Food" for thought (pardon the pun) for those who think that there is such a thing as humane slaughter. And yes - free range chickens meet the same sad fate at the end.
    Keep spreading the word, Fee! People need to know their food got to their plate.

  2. Thanks so much, appreciate the support :)


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