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The end of chick culling isn’t a victory for animals

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Do you care about baby chicks? Then Vox’s report of “The Best News for America’s Animals” should infuriate you.

In this article, author Dylan Matthews shares the development of “in-ovo sexing,” a practice United Egg Producers will bring into action in 2020. The technology determines the sex of a chick in egg, so they can be terminated before they develop. Although it’s being heralded as a victory for animal rights activists, and specifically The Humane League that brought it into fruition, it’s a disappointing ruse for big business. With this, they’ll be able to save and generate new money, improve the efficiency of slaughter, and get welfarist activists to support them all the while.

While celebrating that hundreds of millions of chicks are going to be spared the grinders and gas chambers so frequently the focus of torture-porn activism, the true purpose of the change has been overlooked. Unilever, the first major corporation to announce an end to culling back in 2014, couldn’t give a shit about the lives of chicks or the chickens who produce them. Matthews doesn’t forget to include that the male-identified eggs will continue being used, primarily for egg-based flu vaccines and pet food. So not only will hens be kept, manipulated to produce more eggs, and put through the arduous and painful task of laying frequently, but the product of their labour will remain a commodity. It’ll distract us from all the other depravity in the egg industry, if only for a minute. But since the idea of chick fetuses is apparently more disgusting to the average human than an unfertilized egg, they’ll hide the byproduct we’ll continue to purchase, and we’ll be told “it’s all good.”

No doubt the grinders, gas chambers, and clean-up of all those useless male chicks has been a burden on egg producers and their PR teams everywhere. Now, not only will they save the time and task of all that in-your-face murder, they’ll get to wear a metaphorical halo while generating new profits from different industries. Production doesn’t stop, and the only thing “spared” is the day chicks use to spend alive before their slaughter. And in all this, female chickens remain the forgotten victims who most certainly will feel no difference between losing an egg that hatches and one that doesn’t.

So why are thousands of supposed animal rights activists sharing the “good” news? Well, it’s not the first time they’ve been lead astray. The article references past misguidance like the old animal welfare advocate led goal of breeding “dual-purpose” chickens that could be egg laying first, and a drumstick later. That idea didn’t help chickens, but it also didn’t help business, so it got the butcher’s block. The reality here is that “victories” like these only happen when business can turn a profit. Then, Vox spins it so liberal readers can hit share at the mere sight of the title and image combination of those cute “saved” lives.

While everyone else cheers on the ‘baby steps’ of ending making a different kind of nugget out of these little dudes, I’ll be over here mourning the hundreds of millions that’ll still get the axe before 2020, the hundreds of millions that will be shot into humans and fed to dogs past 2020, and for all animal lives we still consider ours to exploit. I refuse to support the needless death and sale of animals at any stage of their development. If you agree, I hope you’ll go vegan. Only a vegan world would be the “best news” for animals.

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