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Chicks, Man

Understanding that the inhumane killing of animals is something that goes on every day in nations with industrialized food systems does not make this video, shot by an undercover activist from an animal rights group, any easier to watch, or even hear about.

ChicksThe Des Moines Register: "The video, shot with a hidden camera and microphone by a Mercy for Animals employee who got a job at the plant, shows a Hy-Line worker sorting through a conveyor belt of chirping chicks, flipping some of them into a chute like a poker dealer flips cards. These chicks, which a narrator says are males, are then shown being dropped alive into a grinding machine. In other parts of the video, a chick is shown dying on the factory floor amid a heap of egg shells after falling through a sorting machine. Another chick, also still alive, is seen lying on the floor after getting scalded by a wash cycle, according to the video narrator. Hy-Line said the video 'appears to show an inappropriate action and violation of our animal welfare policies,' referring to chicks on the factory floor. But the company also noted that 'instantaneous euthanasia' - a reference to killing of male chicks by the grinder - is a standard practice supported by the animal veterinary and scientific community."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP (warning: extremely graphic) ...

Circus Handlers Beat Elephants in New Ringling Bros. PETA Video [tr]

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  1. This sort of thing is only shocking to people who are isolated from the reality of how their food gets to them. They think it magically appears in the grocery store, or on a plate, looking delicious.

    Posted by: J. J. | Sep 2, 2009 8:55:48 AM

  2. I cannot watch things like this. I just wanted to say that PETA should be working on things like this and not worry so much about the President killing a fly.

    Posted by: Becky | Sep 2, 2009 9:13:58 AM

  3. really. the solution provided is to go vegan. oh, ok.

    Posted by: b mac | Sep 2, 2009 9:18:30 AM

  4. i hope this doesn't really surprise anyone. you don't need hidden cameras, just a brain, to figure out they won't harvest male chicks to get eggs in those masses you find in supermarkets. so either live with it, or change your eating and/or shopping behaviour.

    Posted by: Jan | Sep 2, 2009 9:32:04 AM

  5. You might also choose a compassionate, locally raised and personally captured, killed and prepared chicken for your next dinner. Once you kill and pluck a few dinners on your own or slaughter your own livestock instead of buying mass produced ignorance, you'll have a whole new respect for that animal and might not even be so hungry for it next time. I know I'm a hell of a lot less apt to throw ANYTHING away...but it also tastes a hell of a lot BETTER.

    Posted by: FizziekruntNT | Sep 2, 2009 9:38:09 AM

  6. Disney should make a movie out of this video. Like a group of chicks escapes from this factory. It would be an adventure of a lifetime!

    Posted by: Joe | Sep 2, 2009 9:41:38 AM

  7. Well, perhaps urban people are surprised. OK, I'm the son of a veterinarian, but how is that news? And furthermore: Is that really so terrible?

    The only thing this video tells me is that the PETA people are nuts. Which is not news either.

    Posted by: ahem | Sep 2, 2009 9:41:52 AM

  8. I think this is a powerful video that is totally undermined by its closing statement. Going vegan is not the only answer. Try the local green market... get yourself some eggs from pasture-raised hens, and you're all set. Last time I checked, the market in Union Square had 2 or 3 purveyors offering such eggs.

    Posted by: Dylanjs | Sep 2, 2009 9:42:07 AM

  9. HAHA.. this was in an episode of "American Dad" quite a while ago. Stan's son could tell which chicks were male just by looking at them so his job was to put the male chicks down the chute. The females went on to lay eggs I believe. The male chicks were ground into dog food and fillers I believe. The process is absolutely humane because the chicks die very quickly in the grinder.

    Posted by: Aiden Raccoon | Sep 2, 2009 9:53:57 AM

  10. Yeah seen this in action myself, its normal, but it hasnt made me vegan (nothing would).

    Posted by: Rovex | Sep 2, 2009 10:44:22 AM

  11. I seriously do not understand why people get so up in arms over this kind of thing. "Regard for welfare"???? These animals are FOOD, people. They don't have souls. They are here for our sustenance, nothing more. These idiots think everyone should go vegan...that's INSANE.

    Posted by: Lee Keels | Sep 2, 2009 11:25:13 AM

  12. So... the problem is that the chicks are murdered in... 0,01 second? Ok, they could do other things to make the process better, but WTF with the vegan (vegan!) propaganda?
    Well intended, failed at the end.

    Posted by: Lexxvs | Sep 2, 2009 11:28:53 AM

  13. Sorry, I just couldn't finish the video. I can't handle something where you know that this cruelty and barbarism is being done for commercial profit. I think the same thing should be done to some of the children of Hy-line's management just to see how Hy-line's execs would react. Not very well, probably. So, where are the "pro-life" people on this one? Oh, yeah. I forgot. These are "dumb" animals. I think it's the humans who are dumber. And more savage.

    Posted by: mike | Sep 2, 2009 12:48:35 PM

  14. I am frankly taken back by people who:

    1) Suggest that any kind of killing is humane
    2) Suggest that animals don't have souls
    3) Suggest that animals are food only

    We are humans, but we are animals too, and in a different world, we could easily be hunted and cultivated for mass consumption by other more advanced species.

    - The problem is that animals are killed, period.
    - Murder is not funny.
    - Animals do have souls. We are animals too, and we have souls.
    - Animals deserve to live as much as we do.

    Posted by: Guest | Sep 2, 2009 12:51:13 PM

  15. @Guest: You are probably also one of the nuts who want to transform all carnivores into herbivores.

    Proof that there is a soul. Neither humans nor other animals have a soul. Esotheric nonsense. You are not better than the religious crazies.

    Posted by: ahem | Sep 2, 2009 1:12:30 PM

  16. The word 'murder' is obviously only applicable to humans. What's hilarious is when people say, "you murdered that chicken!". No, I killed the chicken. More precisely, I ground it up. It is impossible to 'murder' something that is not human.

    Posted by: Eric | Sep 2, 2009 1:23:10 PM

  17. @Guest: Thanks for your comments. It's just a matter of time before the soul-less Ahem's of the world eat each other literally. Sad.

    Posted by: SFshawn | Sep 2, 2009 1:31:15 PM

  18. That was horrifying. Yes, we all hear how bad it is in those chicken farms, but I've never actually seen it. And I never realized that baby male chicks meat their end in a freaking meat grinder on a purveyor belt.

    Dammit, chicken was my favorite meat! I don't know how on earth I can eat it like this anymore. We should have some minimum standards for how those factories work. I'm not so puritanical as to think we all should or could become vegetarians, but food should be "processed" as painlessly as possible. I'm pretty sure California just voted on something like that last election -- it should be throughout the country.

    Posted by: Ryan | Sep 2, 2009 1:31:32 PM

  19. Anyone that attempts to use the term "humane" in regard to the intentional end of one life to sustain another is delusional. It is a natural part of existence on this planet. As a thinking ape, you get to decide what you will or won't eat and that all depends upon what you can or can't catch, cultivate and grow.

    1. characterized by tenderness, compassion, and sympathy for people and animals, esp. for the suffering or distressed: humane treatment of horses.

    There's nothing humane about killing your dinner.

    You can leave the soul debate at the door, Guest. That's a rather subjective concept. Does a lioness feel remorse for picking off a weak or immature antelope from the herd? Should bats and birds be vilified for eating bugs? By the way, those chickens will eat almost ANYTHING in the wild, including dog shit.

    You want a real horror show? Watch Death on a Factory Farm some time. That was beyond sick. I still say, if you can't catch it, kill it and cook it yourself, you shouldn't eat it. If you want to argue a point, consider the massive waste and overproduction of these industries.

    Posted by: FizziekruntNT | Sep 2, 2009 1:31:54 PM

  20. I'd rather our efforts were spent trying to get humans to treat EACH OTHER with compassion, dignity and respect.

    You want me to care about what goes on in a hatchery when in many parts of the world animals have more legal protections than homosexuals?

    A little priority re-alignment is in order.

    Posted by: Jexer | Sep 2, 2009 2:12:56 PM

  21. Yes, these animals are intended for our food needs. But that doesn't mean we have to treat them as though they are not living things in the process. They are animals, not equipment, and deserve at least a small amount of compassion while they are alive (no matter how short that time may be).

    Posted by: Bob | Sep 2, 2009 2:51:27 PM

  22. "Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." Albert Einstein.

    I am Vegan for myself, for the animals, and for our planet.

    Posted by: Thomas | Sep 2, 2009 3:14:55 PM

  23. So, given that chicken and eggs are NOT going to be disappearing from diets any time soon, what changes could be made to the process? I'm not defending this process, just wondering what the options are. Knocking them out first with some gas or drug before they're ground up? Somehow live male chicks have to be turned into dead male chicks.

    The visuals are effective, but some of the narrative is odd. It states that the beak mutilation process (and I still don't get why that's necessary) causes "both acute and chronic pain." What's the difference between the two if you're living for only a few more seconds? And it mentions several times that workers handle the chicks "roughly"--more roughly than the machines and the grinder??

    Posted by: Gianpiero | Sep 2, 2009 3:22:43 PM

  24. Having read many of the above posts, I think I need to go and take a shower. I actually thought gay people were among the most compassionate souls in this world, but obviously that was one seriously ignorant assumption on my part. Jesus.

    Posted by: AllenG | Sep 2, 2009 3:31:23 PM

  25. What shocks me is the number of informed people who seem to think the "circle of life" is a song from a Disney movie and not the ecological reality that in part includes animals killing and eating each other.

    Posted by: Rikard | Sep 2, 2009 3:36:31 PM

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