The following PETA exposé contains eyewitness footage of a British “free-range” egg farm, filmed during multiple visits to a site in Cambridgeshire. Farms just like this one can be found everywhere.
If you thought “free-range” meant cruelty-free, you may be in for a nasty shock, as this footage proves that reality is often very different from what the industry would have you believe.
Free to Roam?
“Free-range” chickens aren’t kept in cages, but they can still be crammed by the thousands into dark, filthy sheds.
Access to the outside world may be severely limited, and many of these intelligent, inquisitive birds may never see the light of day.
High Welfare Standards?
The crowding in these sheds is often so intense that the chickens almost never have a chance to engage in any of their natural activities, such as foraging, dust-bathing, and socializing.
Many lose their feathers because of the high levels of ammonia and the stress from the extreme noise, stench, and confinement.
Long Happy Lives?
Male chicks, who are of no use to the egg industry, are typically killed just hours after hatching. They are gassed to death or thrown into a high-speed grinder while still alive.
Females are allowed to live as long their egg production remains high, but once their bodies start to give out they are sent off to the abattoir. Here, they’re shackled upside down and their throats are slit so they can be processed into “low-grade” meat. Many don’t even make it this far, as they simply drop dead on the shed floor, where their bodies are left to rot.
Well Provided For?
With so many animals crammed into such a small space, competition for food can be fierce.
The Only Cruelty-Free Option
“Free-range” labels might make consumers feel better about purchasing eggs, but they do little to protect chickens.