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Protesters more upset about chicken cannibalism than people eating chickens

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As always with welfarism, it’s not whether or not they die, but how and why that is important.

Last week, Direct Action Everywhere released undercover video footage taken at one of the farms that supplies eggs to Costco. The cage-free conditions there were called to question as it’s the new “victory” for animals that everyone says stems from animal rights pressure. But seeing that chickens were cannibalizing one and another is apparently enough to make the group doubt this “improvement,” but not enough for them to want to help chickens. DxE organizer Wayne Hsiung told Washington Post that “it’s a terrible way to die,” referring to the cannibalism he witnessed, and ignoring what’s currently done to the chickens who make it through. 

First, people advocate for bigger cages. Then, they advocate for cage-free conditions. Now, they’ll continue to advocate for us to find new “humane” ways to treat the chickens we exploit. But we know that anything less than advocating an end to all animal use sells these chickens and other animals out. Without a clear message, the problem will simply be altered here and there, without real change.

Sharing the footage was only step one of the groups publicity stunt, that later saw activists doing a bizarre die-in demonstration in on SF Costco location where one protestor even pretended to eat another protestor. Customers probably were inconvenienced when they tried to buy eggs on that trip, and possibly confused, but were still welcome to have enormous helpings of other animal products that Costco is known for instead. Veganism wasn’t the message.

The group thinks violating principles dictated by the “certified humane” label is something they need to be held accountable for, despite those certifications being industry bullshit. Ultimately, they’d be happy if Costco made sure their chickens were killed and sold, instead of lost to other chickens- something we bet Costco agrees with. The multibillion-dollar company followed in the footsteps of other big retailers in committing to go cage-free to appease customers and projecting one billion cage-free egg sales in 2016 (a scant amount of eggs when weighed against what’s consumed worldwide).

Some animal rights activists defend cage-free by saying that even in it’s imperfection, it’s better than battery cages. But want to know what’s better for chickens? Not being used. Veganism is the only way to do right by animals, and educating others on how to go vegan is imperative for a future where we don’t use animals instead of continuing the conversation on how to use them best.

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