Chickens Should Be Kept In Cages

Battery-cage chickens.

Today I am a health sciences major student, but I still remember back in 2012 when I was part of the National FFA Organization, where FFA stands for Future Farmers of America. I wanted to become a Veterinarian, and I still do so today, and I realized that in that organization they focused a lot on animals so I joined it. My high school even had a barn where you could either raise a pig, goat, or chicken. Unfortunately, I never got the chance to raise an animal even though I wanted to very badly. Though I clearly remember one day when a girl who was raising a pig, in the school’s barn, was talking about the state fair and she showed her pig, won a prize, and everything was very exciting. Then, suddenly I started to feel uncomfortable listening to this conversation because they started to discuss how she was going to end up killing, cooking, and eating the pig she had raised. She claimed how she felt safer eating the pig since she raised him and knew what she had “put” in him. I guess she meant how the pig was not raised using growth-promotion drugs and other similar drugs. Which when you think about, yeah it’s true I guess you could feel “safer”. Personally, I wouldn’t be able to consume a pig I had raised because I would probably feel horrible and wouldn’t even enjoy the meal because to me it would be like eating my dog. Anyways, since I want to become a veterinarian I won’t ever willingly kill any animal, hence I want to do the opposite which is to cure them and find ways to keep all animals safe.

Then, another day during one of my FFA classes we had a lecture and some of the images on the PowerPoint were of chickens in crowded cages, and I immediately thought that we were going to begin discussing how it was sad that this chickens had to live under these conditions, and that we as an organization had to fix the problem. I was completely wrong, the teacher started to talk about how it was better to keep chickens in battery-cages rather than letting them be cage-free. At first, I was confused but then she explained how cage-free chickens would still be kept in closed barns, so they wouldn’t fly away, but the problem was that it would be a lot harder to clean up the chicken’s feces, thus creating diseases, bacteria or viruses. The poultry industry already deals with many diseases and a study shows how infectious bursal disease (IBD) is a very common one. Thus, having the chickens in an environment which would cause more diseases is unethical. On the other hand, battery-cage chickens have systems that clean out their feces daily and keep the cages nice and clean. Though, apparently both cage-free and battery-cage systems are not completely cruelty-free, so how can we fix the problem.

I want to help animals found in livestock industries but it seems like there is no way to keep them in a stable anti-cruelty environment. Even if we keep protesting nothing will change because in the end, there really is no way to alter these livestock farms so that the animals can live comfortably and be healthy. Logically speaking the only solution would be to completely stop consuming animal meat, but you can’t just make humans stop eating meat from one day to another, it would be a long process. Imagine how long it would take to educate and convince every single human being on earth why they shouldn’t eat meat.

Swine in cage.

Thus, is there really any solution to this problem, at least one that won’t last years to accomplish. Can we really keep blaming livestock industries on how they raise animals if most humans eat up to 41.90 kg of meat per year and make these industries provide them with that amount of meat? I don’t think we have the right to blame the industries we have to blame humanity, and we have to accept that what we are all doing wrong. Hence, this problem dealing with animal rights for livestock animals can only be solved if the whole world stops eating meat, but let me know what you think and share with others. There are many possible solutions like making chicken cages larger but they are still in cages so they won’t be happy, thus what can we do?


References for Information Sources:

Cage-Free vs. battery-Cage Eggs. (n.d.). Retrieved September 22, 2016.

Charles, D. (2013, November 4). Why Are Pig Farmers Still Using Growth-Promotion. Retrieved September 22, 2016.

Current Worldwide Annual Meat Consumption per capita. (n.d.). Retrieved September 22, 2016.

H.B, A. (2016, July 10). Outbreaks of Virulent Infectious Bursal Diseases in Flocks of Battery cage Brooding System of Commercial Chickens. Journal of Veterinary Medicine. Retrieved September 22, 2016.

References for Media:

Graphic of battery-cage chickens retrieved from: http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/01/european-union-bans-battery-cages-for-egg-laying-hens/#.V-SbHvkrJD8

Graphic of swine in cage retrieved from: http://mypigmeup.com/mcdonalds-phasing-out-tiny-cages-for-pigs/