(FACTORY FARMING/FARM ANIMAL WELFARE) September is National Chicken Month, and the ASPCA is helping raise awareness about the truth behind broiler chicken, or chickens used for food.

The majority of factory farmed chickens live in highly unsanitary and unhealthy conditions until they are slaughtered for food. National Chicken Month raises awareness about these harsh living conditions, thus enforcing healthier chickens and more sanitary meat products.

Chicken causes more foodborne illnesses than any other meat. Photo credit: worldtruth.tv
Chicken causes more foodborne illnesses than any other meat. Photo credit: worldtruth.tv

In honor of National Chicken Month, the ASPCA launched a national “Truth About Chicken” campaign encouraging consumers to tell their grocers to sell more humanely raised chicken options, and reform the way chickens are raised in the U.S.

Despite that chicken is the most frequently consumed meat in the U.S., a recent survey commissioned by the ASPCA reveals consumers are worried about the treatment of chickens on farms.

Approximately 80 percent of individuals would prefer to eat humanely raised chicken, however people have little faith in meat producing companies to protect chickens from mistreatment.

Matt Bershadker, ASPCA President and CEO, maintains:

“Concern for farm animal welfare is increasing – Americans want to know the chicken they eat has been raised in a humane environment, both for the birds’ sakes and for their own health. The more these concerns are raised, the closer we’ll come to a time when farm animals are not abused, nor our health potentially imperiled, in the name of cheaper dinners and higher profits.”

Since many chickens cannot support their own weight, they die of dehydration, unable to get to water. Photo credit: advocacy.britannica.com
Since many chickens cannot support their own weight, they die of dehydration. Photo credit: advocacy.britannica.com

Each year, nearly nine billion chickens are used for meat purposes in the U.S. These chickens are normally kept in overcrowded and unsanitary sheds where they have no room to move around. Because of the small amount of space, chickens are forced to live in their own fecal waste, which increases the risk of disease and contaminated fecal matter.

Chickens are also bred selectively so they grow larger and at a faster rate. When chickens are kept in such horrible environments, the risk of foodborne illnesses in consumers increases.

Suzanne McMillan, Senior Director for the ASPCA’s Farm Animal Welfare Program, claims:

“It’s incredibly important that concerned consumers share their desire for more humane chicken options. We need fundamental changes in the way we raise chickens for meat to alleviate the needless suffering of billions of birds and create safer food options for Americans.”

Chickens that lie in their fecal waste are more likely to transport salmonella to consumers. Photo credit: examiner.com
Chickens that lie in their fecal waste are more likely to transport salmonella to consumers. Photo credit: examiner.com

Take Action: the ASPCA advocates the following three ways to stand up for chickens:

1. Watch the video below called, “The Professor” to learn more about what really goes on at chicken farms.

2. Ask your local grocery store to sell more humanely raised chicken options by filling out this online grocery store request letter.

3. Spread the word that September is National Chicken Month, and educate others about the inhumane living conditions chickens must endure. Log onto Twitter on Friday, September 12 at 3:00 P.M. (Eastern time) to join in a special Twitter chat by using the hashtag #ChickenMonth.

In just one month you can help improve the conditions of chicken breeding farms. Join the ASPCA in its efforts to promote healthier and happier lives for chickens.

— Rebecca Hartt, exclusive to Global Animal

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