Each year as the global chicken consumption increases, the suffering of meat chickens remains one of the largest causes of global animal suffering, says World Animal Protection, the international animal welfare charity.
In recent years’ consumers, have demanded higher welfare products and several food companies have gathered pace by making pledges to go cage-free for egg laying hens. But the plight of meat chickens remains hidden from sight with most people not knowing where the meat on their plate comes from.
Here are ten facts about factory-farmed chicken raised for their meat that you should know:
10 things you need to know about factory farmed chickens:
1. Sixty billion chickens are raised every year across the world to be sold for their meat.
40 billion of these will be raised in huge, crowded sheds, or cages, kept in dismal conditions that can cause them painful heart, skin, lung and bone problems and immense stress.
2. Chicken is now one of the world’s most popular meats. Between 1996-2016, demand for chicken meat grew almost 40% in the European Union, 89% in China and 183% in India.
3. A factory-farmed chicken lives an average of 42 days. In the wild, a chicken could expect to live several years.
4. These chickens put on more than 50g every day, but their immune systems, organs and legs cannot keep up, meaning they can suffer a range of physical problems.
5. Because of their shortened life span, chickens bred for meat may look fully-grown, but they are still babies when they are slaughtered.
6. Specific breeds of chicken are bred only for meat, genetically selected for their ability to reach “slaughter weight” as fast as possible.
7. Around 2,000 meat chickens are slaughtered every second.
8. By the time they are ready for slaughter, many meat chickens live in a space smaller than an A4 piece of paper.
9. Chickens love “dust-bathing”: digging a shallow hole to jump in and covering themselves in dry dust and dirt. It’s an important natural behaviour, keeping their feathers in good condition and removing parasites. In many countries, factory grown chickens are prevented from dust-bathing and carrying out other important behaviours, such as pecking, scratching and perching.
10. Seven out of ten consumers of chicken in the UK polled for World Animal Protection (78%) admitted that, when buying chicken at a fast-food outlet, they never ask where it comes from.
World Animal Protection CEO, Steve McIvor said: “This conveyer belt of rapidly grown chickens comes at a price. Behind the world’s favourite meat is an unacceptable cost of suffering that is increasing as the global demand for chicken grows.”
As the demand for chicken meat continues to rise, World Animal Protection believes consumers should no longer be kept in the dark, as the charity releases a new global poll revealing just how little we know about the chicken on our plate.
The poll – of 12,000 people worldwide – shows that although people are concerned about what they eat, very few know where that meat has come from.
What the poll tells us about UK consumer views:
• Four out of five (85%) did not know that a chicken will only live on average 42 days
• Of those who eat chicken, four out of five (79%) said they would not buy chicken from a fast-food chain if they knew it had suffered serious health problems because of living in a cramped industrial farm
• seven out of ten (78%) never ask where their chicken comes from at fast-food outlets.
World Animal Protection is challenging fast food retailers such as KFC to improve the welfare of billions of chickens, because mass production is one of the biggest causes of animal suffering in the world. The organisation wants to see:
• The use of chicken breeds that grow at a slower, more natural rate
• More space for the chickens
• More things for the chickens to engage with and explore, such as perches and hay bales
• The introduction of natural light in the sheds
Steve McIvor continues: “We need to expose the woefully poor conditions that many factory-grown chickens are living in. They are suffering in secret, behind closed doors and away from public view. KFC has a huge stake in the market with more than 18,000 outlets in 115 countries; we want to see them use their global influence to show they care about the welfare of chickens.”
Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage
While some states are literally flooding due to heavy rains and run-off, others are struggling to get the moisture they need. States like Arizona and California have faced water emergencies for the last few years; water conserving efforts from citizens help keep them out of trouble.
If your area is experiencing a water shortage, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile.
Repair and Maintain Appliances
Leaks around the house – think showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, and more – lead to wasted water. Beyond that, the constant flow of water will cause water damage to your floors and walls. Have repairs done as soon as you spot any problems.
Sometimes, a leak won’t be evident until it gets bad. For that reason, make appointments to have your appliances inspected and maintained at least once per year. This will extend the life of each machine as well as nip water loss in the bud.
When your appliances are beyond repair, look into Energy Star rated replacements. They’re designed to use the least amount of water and energy possible, without compromising on effectiveness.
Only Run Dishwasher and Washer When Full
It might be easier to do a load of laundry a day rather than doing it once per week, but you’ll waste a lot more water this way. Save up your piles of clothes until you have enough to fully load the washing machine. You could also invest in a washing machine that senses the volume of water needed according to the volume of clothes.
The same thing goes with the dishwasher. Don’t push start until you’ve filled it to capacity. If you have to wash dishes, don’t run the water while you’re washing. Fill the sink or a small bowl a quarter of the way full and use this to wash your dishes.
Recycle Water in Your Yard
Growing a garden in your backyard is a great way to cut down on energy and water waste from food growers and manufacturers, but it will require a lot more water on your part. Gardens must be watered, and this often leads to waste.
You can reduce this waste by participating in water recycling. Using things like a rain barrel, pebble filtering system, and other tools, you can save thousands of gallons a year and still keep your landscaping and garden beautiful and healthy.
Landscape with Drought-Resistant Plants
Recycling water in your yard is a great way to reduce your usage, but you can do even more by reducing the amount of water required to keep your yard looking great. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to the area. In California, for example, succulents grow very well, and varieties of cactus do well in states like Arizona or Texas.
Install Water-Saving Features
The average American household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every single day. You obviously can’t cut out things like showering or using the toilet, but you can install a few water-saving tools to make your water use more efficient.
There are low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucet aerators. You could also use automatic shut-off nozzles, shower timers, and grey water diverters. Any of these water saving devices can easily cut your water usage in half.
Research Laws and Ordinances for Your City
Dry states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada must create certain laws to keep the water from running out. These laws are put into practice for the benefit of everyone, but they only work if you abide by the laws.
If you live in a state where drought is common, research your state and city’s laws. They might designate one day per week that you’re allowed to water your lawn or how full you can fill a pool. Many people are not well versed in the laws set by their states, and it would mean a lot to your community if you did your part.
Cyprus is the Forerunner for Ecotourism
When I was looking for a second citizenship, I happened to see One Visa’s offer on Cyprus Citizenship by investment program. I had heard about Cyprus being a beautiful country, but I did not know much else, so I decided to start my own research about this gem of a place.
After I did some research, I discovered that Cyprus is a popular destination for tourists. Unfortunately, heavy tourism and the associated development affected villages here and there, with some communities being slowly abandoned. To avoid this from happening any further, Cyprus went into ecotourism, and today, it is the forerunner in this arena. Let’s look in further detail at ecotourism in Cyprus here.
How was it started?
It all started in 2006 with the launch of the “Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative.” This program has the sole scope of promoting ecotourism developments in the tourism industry. It concentrates on those areas which require conservation and environmental safety. At the same time, it helps develop social, as well as economic statuses in the rural parts of Cyprus. Through this program, the government was able to acknowledge that ecotourism will play an essential role in the future of Cyprus, with the concept gaining momentum among tourists from all over the globe.
How to go about it?
So, now you are interested in going for an ecotourism vacation in Cyprus. How will you go about it? I would immediately say that everyone should visit the quaint Cypriot villages spread throughout the island. These communities have a smaller population, and not many tourists visit. They make for a great relaxing spot. Enjoy seeing the bustle of village life go by where simple pleasures abound. Most hamlets are linked by specific minibus tours which ferry tourists to these havens. These trips will have a regular schedule, aimed at promoting ecotourism further. Such tours will be regulated to ensure that while the villages can benefit and develop, they do not get overpopulated or overcrowded with tourists. Therefore, you can be sure to enjoy the beautiful sceneries that nature has to offer here.
If you are wondering if there are any activities to do here, my answer would be: “Yes, plenty.” You can go for some guided walks across various regions here. Here you will be able to explore the diversified natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Several agritourism activities and services are planned to open shortly. Once launched, you will be able to engage in picking olives, milking goats, and several other such events here.
What can be learned?
Although we are aware that natural resources need to be preserved, we do not always remember it in real life. When we go on tours such as these, we can realize the significance of protecting nature. Also, when more and more people visit these places, the concept of ecotourism will become popular among more people. Awareness about ecotourism is set to grow and spread throughout the world. Subsequently, sustainable tourism will gain popularity around the globe with Cyprus being the forerunner for ecotourism .