More ‘Humane’ Farms Exposed for Cruelty to Chickens

This week another undercover investigation has brought to light the cruelty chickens endure when raised for meat – even those who are labeled “humanely raised” when sold in grocery stores.

The footage, which was just released by PETA, exposed the heartbreaking behind-the-scenes lives of broiler chickens raised at farms in the UK that supply meat exclusively for Marks & Spencer’s Oakham line that is being sold as “high welfare.”

While those “high welfare,” or “humanely raised,” sort of labels may conjure up images of chickens sunning themselves on a peaceful and idyllic farm, the reality is anything but.

Thousands of chickens in this case were crammed into sheds where they spend their entire lives indoors, without ever getting so much as a breath of fresh air. They may be able to move more than chickens kept in battery cages, but they’re still overcrowded and their living conditions are still an overall nightmare.

Dead bodies were left with live birds, many of whom were also suffering from untreated injuries. Others were found crippled by the weight of their own bodies – a common problem among chickens who are bred for meat and forced to grow too large too quickly.

This is their lives for about six weeks, before they’re slaughtered.

As we grow increasingly aware of the inherent cruelty in animal agriculture, more people are expressing support for humanely raised meat and other animal products.

Unfortunately, the growing demand has led to a lot of humane-washing through certification schemes that are supposed to be protecting animals from some of the worst practices, whether it’s extreme confinement, mutilations or abusive employees.

More unfortunate is that these schemes, like American Humane Certified, and labels, including free-range, cage-free and humanely raised, among others, don’t really provide the treatment that they claim is humane – at least depending on what your idea of humane really is.

As other undercover investigations have shown, the problem also isn’t confined to just a few bad companies either.

“The excruciating, nightmarish conditions endured by these chickens supplied to Marks & Spencer show that it doesn’t matter which brand you buy or what label you put on it – meat comes from agony,” said PETA Director Elisa Allen.

In this case, there is no pointless call urging either stores or producers to make an attempt to improve things for chickens. Instead, those who exposed this cruelty and injustice are simply asking people not to support it by choosing alternatives to meat.

For more info, or to sign up for a vegan stater kit, check out the full investigation.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Marcin J
Marcin J2 years ago


Chun Lai T
Chun Lai T2 years ago


Marie W
Marie W2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

John W
John W2 years ago


Simon L
Simon L2 years ago


Tin Ling L
Tin Ling L2 years ago


Melania P
Melania Padilla2 years ago

Surprised? Shared everywhere

Jennifer H
Jennifer H2 years ago

I don't know if any type of farm can be humane.

Pat P
Pat P2 years ago

I don't trust farms to humanely raise chickens. They are the most horrifically abused creature--and yet, they are smart, social and affectionate--and feel the same physical and psychological pains that our pets and humans experience!!

I will NOT participate in such inexcusable tortuous cruelty by purchasing chicken!

TAKAKA: Actually, the USDA does give some factual information as to what the labels indicate--which for chickens is, essentially, meaningless! Although a bit of improvement over obscene cruelty, the standards for "cage-free", "free-range" are so abysmally low, as to allow minimal humane treatment. Requiring mere brief access (not use) to the outdoors guarantees nothing; no natural life; still painful debeaking; forced-molting; all baby chick roosters brutally killed; Even "organic" doesn't guarantee absence of cruelty--especially when "meat" chickens are usually killed in commercial hell-holes (after being violently crammed in trucks, driven 100's of miles for frightening and agonizing slaughter.!

Also, consider the fact that the USDA agents are scarce; often uninvolved, desensitized to abuse (like employees); allow multiple serious violations to occur, repeatedly--and believe it or not, corporations and their employees don't care about these creatures' suffering, laugh at abuse and lie!

Don't attempt to delude yourself! The cruelty only stops, when the abusers are caught, when a rare dedicated USDA agent is involved (usually, also, other

natasha b
Past Member 2 years ago

This shouldn't come as a surprise. Most farms who claim humane farming are anything but. Just that this one was caught while others are not. Stop eating chicken/stop eating meat.