Chickens once had a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years, but the modern broiler is typically killed around 6 weeks (37 to 42 days). Their daily growth rate has increased roughly 400 percent. Chickens bred for meat are arguably the most genetically manipulated of all animals, forced to grow 65 times faster than their bodies normally would, and the industry continually seeks to increase their growth rate. Factory farmers calculate how close to death they can keep the chickens without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly can they be made to grow, how tightly can they be packed, how much or little can they eat, how sick can they get without dying. Their beaks and claws are burnt off so they don't peck and scratch each other to death from going insane in their awful environment. These new mutants that you eat no longer have the ability to fly or to have sex. All chickens are artificially inseminated. Free range doesn't really mean anything. It's to fool unsuspecting people. Legally, a factory farmer can jam 33,000 chickens into a windowless shed. As long as there is a 5 foot by 5 foot hinged opening at one end that opens to a 5 foot by 5 foot dirt patch, then those animals can be called free range. No chicken ever gets to set foot outside though. Throw another couple of wings on the barbie, mate. I don't think so. I just finished a good summer read. "Eating Animals" by Jonathan Safran Foer. Eye opening for sure.
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