Cruelty to Baby Chicks at “Humane” Hatchery Exposed

Products with “humane” and “organic” labels are becoming a quick go-to choice for consumers who don’t want to support the cruelties involved in factory farming. Quite often, however, these labels don’t really mean very much in the grand scheme of animal suffering.

Compassion Over Killing (COK) released an undercover video this week that was taken at a hatchery owned by Bell & Evans, a company that claims its chickens are “humanely raised and compassionately handled, in a minimal-stress environment, throughout their lives.”

The company has its own video highlighting just how happy their little “peeps” are, but it’s a stark contrast to the footage obtained by COK, which shows the reality of “humane” farming practices involving chickens. COK’s video shows what it stated are “chicks being treated like mere inanimate objects.” Hours-old chicks were shown being “jostled from machine to machine in a highly mechanized process,” while dead chicks were left with live birds, and still others left with “open wounds, injuries, deformities and illnesses.”

Probably most disturbing is the disposal of sick, weak and injured male chicks who are tossed into a grinder while they are still alive.

However, nothing that was shown in the video is illegal. Bell & Evans could be left out of the equation entirely here because all of it is considered standard industry practice. The industry as a whole has no use for male chicks, who don’t lay eggs or grow quickly enough to be raised for meat, which means they are routinely killed by the millions at hatcheries, whether or not they come from a farm that claims it’s following organic, humane, cage-free or free-range standards.

If someone were tossing puppies or kittens they didn’t want into a wood chipper, there would be hell to pay. Sadly, chickens and other animals who are considered livestock aren’t afforded the same compassion we show other animals even though they’re just as capable of suffering.

“Consumers who are looking for cruelty-free meat need to know about this,” said Erica Meier, executive director of COK. “Anyone concerned with their meat being cruelty-free should recognize that animal cruelty is standard practice in this industry.”

Scott Sechler, the owner of Bell & Evans issued a response stating that the company strives to meet humane standards and stated in the previously mentioned video that the company is audited by the Global Animal Partnership (GAP), but even that certification comes with its own set of problems.

COK is urging people to help stop the cycle of cruelty by passing on meat and other animal byproducts, which will also help stop companies from duping people into paying more for products that they believe are better for animals when they don’t make that much of a difference. The organization stated:

More than 8 billion birds are raised and killed for food each year in the U.S. and with virtually no legal protections whatsoever, their short lives are filled with misery. The most effective way each of us can help end this abuse is to simply leave chickens, and all animals, off our plates.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for the article.

Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing

K H.
K H2 years ago

I first heard about this issue years ago, why is it still going on? smh

Mark Donner
Mark Donner3 years ago

I agree with Chaz and not the apologizers and enablers, the human cancer might as well dispense with the pr front, and pass a law that any member of the human cancer can indulge in their repulsive nature, have a free for all and kill any babies they come across, for any lowlife who insists they want to join that part of the repulsive human race that justifies human atrocities like this. I'm afraid there is no excuse for the majority of the overpopulated human race, it has proved time and time again it is a perversion and a monstrosity in this universe that shouldn't exist.

Pamela W.
Pamela W3 years ago

Thanks Suba !! I did have a look at that one, but it seemed reasonably quiet and you'd not been on there for a while (although Rainbow was still on there) so I thought it was the wrong one LOL. I'll pop in there again tomorrow ..... time for me to go to bed now ..... so I'll say Goodnight to you, Marilyn and anyone else still "listening-in" here.

Pamela W.
Pamela W3 years ago

Nice to "see" you Suba ........ I'm not staying on here for long either (time to get my evening meal - can't do with the sound effects emitting from my gastric system LOL). Not sure which thread you meant, but I'll try to find it when I've eaten.

Mary and Marilyn ..... no offense meant if I leave you here soon - gotta get some FOOD !!!

Pamela W.
Pamela W3 years ago

Hi Girls !! Fancy finding you here ....... not been on here for a while and it was all nice and friendly last time (well after a while of "friction" got sorted). It really is a shame that it has all blown up again. I had hoped it would last ...... ever the optimist - will I never learn ? LOL !!!

Pamela W.
Pamela W3 years ago

OK Chazz ... Just do me a favour will you ? Go and get yourself a nice cup of coffee, or tea, or whatever you prefer and take a break from here for a few minutes. Check out your Inbox - there's a message in there (from me) which I really think you ought to read ...... Thanks ....

Chazz York jr
Chazz York3 years ago

It genuinely isn't intentional

Chazz York jr
Chazz York3 years ago

I think Highly of you Pamela. I am simply pointing out that I will reasonably apologize to anyone who actually seems deserving of one. As you pointed out I apologized to all until your good friend there kept beating the dead horse on the subject. I am sorry you find my reaction to that disappointing. She makes it clear that she and at least one other person simply hates me and therefore nothing I say or do is OK with them. I can deal with that as well, and I would much rather be involved in mutual conversations or mutual discussions. I have been here trying to do just that. But all human beings have their limits. I just fail to see where it is OK for her to keep hammering on me but not OK for me to simply speak up for myself. I am actually not in a bad mood today except for that one part. She is the one who keeps saying I never apologized for that one rough period, but even you have pointed out twice so far that I did. I wish you could see where I might be coming from with that one. I am also not being dishonest to say that I was also under attack in the referred to conversation or argument. I haven't been trying to get anyone to apologize though because I do realize that we are all subject to a bad day here and there. All I ask of others is speak to me respectfully and I will happily do the same in return. I don't even mind respectfully having differences of opinions. those are called debates. So again Pamela, If I am offending you I am sorry for that. It genuinely isn't int