The luxury we have when it comes to our food is that we don’t get to see how it’s made. We receive it all nicely packaged at the grocery store or market without Ignorance, however, does not make a change in our eating habits and the food industry. Since we can’t get away from our bodies, we should be thinking about how we treat them throughout the course of our lives. We’re told over and over again to get exercise, not to smoke, keep alcohol intake at a minimum, don’t overeat, etc. One of the things that are not mentioned is eating factory farmed meat. It’s been well publicized that factory farmed meats and products are filled with growth hormones, bacteria, diseases and antibiotics, and yet, we still consume them.
If you think cow or pig slaughter is bad, the slaughter of birds is even more horrifying. Because of this exemption, these birds are tortured and their deaths are drawn out, as there are very little cruelty regulations in the industry. While some consumers might take solace in an “organic” or “free-range” label, the reality is 99.9 percent of chickens raised in the United States come from factory farms.
Reasons why not to eat chicken
There are many reasons which should be taken into account while eating chicken. Some reasons which will make you quit eating chicken are:
1. Ninety-Seven Percent of Chicken Breasts Contain Salmonella
When a large amount of chickens are put into a tight space, it’s a breeding ground for bacteria, including salmonella and E. coli. In fact, research from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention found 85 percent of urinary tract infections are caused by E. coli bacteria found in chicken. According to media reports, tests conducted on raw chicken purchased across the U.S. have found that 97 percent of tested chicken breast samples ‘harbored bacteria that could make you sick’.
The analysis discovered high rates of intestinal bacteria, including E. coli, Enterococcus, and Salmonella.
2. Poultry can have the same impact on cholesterol as red meat
Many people swap red meats for chicken in a bid to lower their cholesterol levels and be healthier – but they could be wasting their time. Top plant-based physician Dr. Michael Greger has looked at the information – and concluded that the impact of beef on human cholesterol isn’t necessarily much worse than that of poultry and fish. He says: “Switching from red meat to white meat likely wouldn’t make any difference [to cholesterol. “And that’s really no surprise given how fat we’ve genetically modified chickens to be these days – up to 10 times more fat than they used to have a century ago. “So there are a number of cuts of beef that have less cholesterol-raising saturated fat than chicken.”
3. Risk of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacterial Infection from Broiler Chicken
Antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria are a problem that the medical community is still grappling with. And mass-produced broiler chicken isn’t helping the cause. The widespread use of antibiotics given to chickens to help keep off infections is adding to this problem. Choose organic or free-range chickens when you can. There is also some concern around the possible impact on human gut flora of consumption of food with possible traces of antibiotics. However, further research in this area is needed. Meanwhile, there is news on antibiotic-resistant strains of Salmonella not responding to conventional treatment of food poisoning caused by contaminated chicken.
4. Risk of Cancer from Deep Fried Or Grilled Chicken
Research indicates a reduced risk of cancer, by as much as 40%, in vegetarians when compared to meat eaters. Why? Because consuming a diet that’s very high on animal protein and low on fruit and vegetables could up your risk of cancer. So no matter how lean the chicken is or how well you prepare it, if you skip your vegetables to make room for more chicken, you could be setting yourself up for a fall. Balance your protein intake by eating more vegetable proteins and less meat and chicken.
Because poultry has to be cooked at high temperatures, it can form heterocyclic amines (HCA), carcinogenic compounds that increase your risk of cancer. Grilling or frying chicken ups the levels of these carcinogens, making it worse than most other meats when it comes to HCAs. So frying your chicken is the worst you could be doing to yourself. You could increase the risk of breast cancer, among other conditions.
Grilling or pan-frying chicken at high temperature creates cancer-causing chemicals. These particularly affect areas of the body sensitive to estrogen, such as the breasts. Roast the chicken whole or stew it. A particular research found that frying food at a very high temperature can double your risk of colon cancer and increase the risk of rectal cancer by as much as 60%. This was attributed to the HCAs in the meat and not the red meat itself, as usually assumed. So chicken, previously considered less harmful, could be just as problematic if cooked incorrectly.
5. Chicken Factory Farms Are Filled With Danger and Exploitation
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, slaughterhouse workers are more than three times more likely to sustain injuries while working than workers in other manufacturing jobs. They are also 30 times more likely to suffer from a repetitive stress injury than workers in other manufacturing jobs. The industry refuses to make working conditions safer by slowing line speeds or buying appropriate safety gear, which amounts to what Human Rights Watch calls “systematic human rights violations embedded in meat and poultry industry employment.” Workers are often forced to work 10 or more hours a day, and in order not to slow down, they have even been reported to defecate in their pants.
6. The Meat Industry is Actively Trying to manipulate people
Companies want you to believe that labels like “free-range” and “organic” mean chickens were raised without cruelty. Regardless of what the egg cartons say, most hens raised for their eggs are subjected to cramped, filthy conditions until their egg production begins to wane—when they’re about 2 years old—and then they’re typically slaughtered. More than 100 million “spent” hens are killed in slaughterhouses every year. Every year, millions of male chicks are killed—usually in a high-speed grinder called a “macerator”—because they’re worthless to the egg industry.
7. Chickens Are Filled with Arsenic
This poisonous substance is put into the chickens’ feed. Why? For no other reason than to improve the pink coloring in raw chicken meat. In 2013, Dr. Oz got everyone in a tizzy when he revealed that as much as 36 parts per billion (ppb) of arsenic was found in apple juice. Here’s what you really should be in a tizzy about: chicken can have as much as 430 ppb, which is 30 times more than apple juice.
8. Chicken health is also a concern
The living conditions of factory farmed chickens are so bad that they suffer from painful deformities or routine deformities inflicted by the workers, such as debarking. They are packed into warehouses so tightly that they are trampled, killed in fights and have such bad air quality due to the high amount of waste that disease spreads. Additionally, they are starved, dehydrated, suffocated and stuffed into close quarters with dead, decaying or extremely ill chickens.
9. The slaughter of birds is horrifying
There are little to no cruelty regulations in the chicken industry. In fact, birds have officially been exempted from the ‘Humane Methods of Slaughter Act’. “The U.S. Department of Agriculture exempts birds from its enforcement of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, which requires that farm animals be insensible to pain before they’re shackled and killed,” according to the Humane Society of the United States. Around 9 billion chickens and turkeys are killed for meat each year in the U.S. alone.
These sentient animals spend their entire lives in total confinement; more chickens are raised and killed for food than all other land animals combined. Once at the slaughterhouse, the birds are hung upside down and their throats are cut open by machines. The chickens are then immersed in scalding-hot water for feather removal – and they are fully conscious throughout the entire process.
10. The poultry industry has a devastating impact on the environment
The slaughtering of birds on such a massive scale pollutes land, air, and water with deceased carcasses, feces, heavy metals, chemicals, bacteria, parasites, pathogen cysts, and viruses. Poultry slaughterhouses release large amounts of waste into the environment, polluting land and surface waters – as well as posing a serious threat to humans. The leaching of nitrate and pathogen transfers to groundwater also affects the quality of our drinking water. Wildlife habitat is also destroyed to make space for new slaughtering plants, therefore resulting in biodiversity losses.
One should always consider all these side effects to have a healthy life.