Ground Up Alive: Baby Chicks Suffer

The non-profit organization Mercy for Animals has recently released a video shot at an Iowa egg hatchery showing workers killing unwanted male chicks by placing them in a grinder while still alive. The shocking footage is now spreading quickly around the internet along with calls for the company in question, Hy-Line, to reform its practices.  Male chicks are routinely discarded because they don’t produce eggs and don’t grow large enough or quickly enough to be sold for meat.  While there is nothing illegal about killing chicks in this way, the footage also contains images of chicks slipping through the grinder and dying slowly on the factory floor, which is a violation of corporate and industry ethical standards.
According to the AP, Mitch Head, the spokesperson for the United Egg Producers responded to the video by saying, “There is, unfortunately, no way to breed eggs that only produce female hens.” He continued, “If someone has a need for 200 million male chicks, we’re happy to provide them to anyone who wants them. But we can find no market, no need.”
The chicken processor, Hy-Line on its website says it produces about 30,000,000 chicks a year, and by that count, it would mean that it also kills about 30,000,000 male chicks a year as well.
Undercover footage:  Warning: Graphic Images. Not for the squeamish or children.

This is not the first time that undercover footage has lead to calls for change in the food industry.  The Hallmark/Westland meat recall, the largest in US history, was touched off by footage shot by a Human Society volunteer who took a job at the slaughterhouse. These videos point to the rapid change towards transparency that is being forced upon businesses.  Companies that expect that they can operate behind closed doors in a way that would offend the sensibilities or ethical standards of the public are being forced to change.  But will consumers be willing to pay more, or spend more time, for food that is not produced in an industrial fashion? 
Adam Werbach is the author of Strategy for Sustainability  TWITTER:   @adamwerbach

Although we may not be able to stop these shocking practices today, we can pressure a large player in the chicken meat industry, McDonalds, to adopt more humane methods for slaughter. Click to sign the petition letter.


by Adam Werbach


William C
William C1 years ago

Thank you.

Ashley Dempsey
Ashley Dempsey2 years ago

I can't watch... the article was enough :(

john durkin
john d5 years ago

When I eat in future. I am going to wonder , who or what has suffered for my meal. I shall have to rethink my eating habits .Because this is terrible.

Pam Howard

Yes, It is unacceptable, and inhumane. It is also what happens when feeling humans are aborted- they try to get away, struggle, feel pain. Animals and human cruelty needs to be stopped and prevented.

Sue H.
sue H6 years ago

This is a terrible terrible part of eating meat in the US... loose your appetite? I did!!

Connie Walker
Connie Walker6 years ago

Totally disgusting

Antonia Maestre
Antonia maestre6 years ago

"You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Antonia Maestre
Antonia maestre6 years ago

“How can we ourselves find peace when we are the living graves of murdered animals?"
-George Bernard Shaw

Manel Dias
Manel Dias6 years ago

This is totally horrendous to watch...that humans could be this much cruel and inhumane to innocent living beings. Those are pure evil barbarians.

Yvette T.
Past Member 6 years ago

Human beings and all beings are here to pursue spiritual growth via living in total FREEDOM from birth (NOT ARTIFICIAL insemination for "food" animals) to death via nature. Eating any animals, eggs, or the essence thereof is forbidden in the spirit world. Each act, thought, deed is recorded and we are accumulating bad karmic debt. Paying off this debt is exact, what we sow, we reap. IF we do no harm, we reap good. If we harm, we must be harmed in equal measure. This is how creation in this universe is set up, and there is no way around it, so, be informed and NEVER EAT ANIMALS or their eggs.