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10 Chicken Factory Farming Facts

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Broileritila by Oikeutta elaimille via flickr

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.”

Environment

Want to Connect With Nature? Start by Disconnecting From Busyness

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Connect With Nature

Have you ever found yourself staring at one of your (many) devices and feeling slightly disgusted with how much time you waste on technology? If so, you aren’t alone. We all have moments like these and it’s important that we use them as motivation to change – especially if we want to be more connected with nature.

How Busyness Impacts Your Connection With Nature

Whether you realize it or not, you live an ultra connected life. Between smart phones, tablets, computers, and wearable devices, you’re never very far from some sort of technology that can connect you to the internet or put you in touch with other people. That’s just the world we live in.

While it could be argued that this sort of omnipresent connectivity is a positive thing, it’s also pretty clear that being permanently tethered to technology impacts our ability to strip away distractions and connect with nature.

When you’re always within arm’s reach of a device, you feel a sense of busyness.  Whether it’s browsing your social media feed, uploading a picture, reading the news, or responding to an email, there’s always something to do. As someone who wants to spend more time in nature, this is problematic.

4 Practical Ways to Disconnect

If you want to truly connect with nature and live a greener lifestyle, you have to be proactive about finding ways to disconnect. Here are a few practical suggestions:

1. Switch to a New Phone Plan

It’s not always practical to totally unplug from the world. Family and work responsibilities mean you can’t go off the grid and continue to fulfill your responsibilities. Having said that, there are some ways to scale back.

One suggestion is to switch to a prepaid phone plan. When you have a prepaid phone plan, you’re far less likely to spend hours and hours of your time making phone calls, sending texts, and surfing the web. It forces you to be more conscious of what you’re doing.

2. Get Rid of Social Media

Social media is one of the biggest time wasters for most people. Whether you realize it or not, it’s also a huge stressor. You’re constantly being exposed to the best snapshots of everyone else’s lives, which makes you feel like you’re missing out on something (even when you aren’t).

If you want to feel a sense of relief and free yourself up to spend more time in nature, get rid of social media. Don’t just delete the apps off your phone – actually disable your accounts. It’s a bold, yet necessary step.

3. Create Quiet Hours

If you aren’t able to get rid of social media and disable various online accounts, the next best thing you can do is establish quiet hours each day where you totally detach from technology. You should do this for a minimum of three hours per day for best results.

4. Build Community

Do you know why we’re drawn to social media and our devices? Whether consciously or subconsciously, it’s because we all want to be connected to other people. But do you know what’s better than connecting with people online? Connecting with them in person.

As you build real life, person-to-person relationships, you’ll feel less of a need to constantly have your eyes glued to a screen. Connect with other people who have an appreciation for nature and bond over your mutual interests.

Untether Your Life

If you find yourself constantly connected to a device, then this is probably a clear indicator that you aren’t living your best life. You certainly aren’t enjoying any sort of meaningful connection with nature. Now’s as good a time as any to untether your life and explore what a world free from cords, screens, and batteries is really like.

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Environment

6 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Move

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Moving can be a stressful and challenging time. No matter how many times you’ve done it in the past, the process of packing up, transporting, and unpacking isn’t very fun. It’s also not very eco-friendly. As you prepare for your next move, there are things you can do to ensure you leave less of a footprint behind.

6 Tips for a Greener Move

Because of the stress and pressure felt when moving, it’s pretty common for people to rush through the process and focus on getting it done. In fact, a lot of people take an “at all costs” approach; they’ll do whatever it takes to make the process as cheap and fast as possible. Don’t be one of those people. It doesn’t take much effort to turn a standard move into an eco-friendly move.

1. Maximize Each Trip

When moving across town, it’s imperative that you make as few trips as possible. Each trip requires more gas, more emissions, and more waste, and more time.

If you’re taking your personal vehicle, consider pulling a trailer behind it. You’d be surprised how much stuff you can fit into a small trailer. Not only will it make your move greener, but it’ll also save you a lot of time.

2. Donate Things You Don’t Want to Keep

The longer you live somewhere, the more junk you accumulate. This isn’t always obvious until you start packing for a big move. Instead of bringing all of these things with you to your next home, get rid of the stuff you don’t need! If the items are useful, donate them. If the items don’t have much value, toss them.

3. Reuse Moving Boxes

Not only are moving boxes expensive, but they’re also wasteful. If you need a bunch of cardboard boxes, consider looking around on Craigslist, asking friends, or checking the dumpsters behind stores. You can usually find a bunch of recycled boxes of all different shapes and sizes. Here are 12 places you can get them for free.

4. Get Creative With Packing

Who says you need moving boxes? You may find that it’s possible to do most of your move without all that cardboard. Things like storage containers, trashcans, filing cabinets, buckets, and dressers can all store items. Blankets and sheets can be used in lieu of bubble wrap to prevent your items from getting damaged.

5. Use Green Cleaning Supplies

Once you arrive at your new place, resist the urge to pull out a bunch of harsh chemicals to clean the place. You can do yourself (and the planet) a favor by using green cleaning supplies instead. Ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and ammonia are great to start with.

6. Forward Your Mail ASAP

Don’t delay in forwarding your mail from your previous address to your new one. Not only is it wasteful for the Postal Service to route your mail to a place where you don’t live, but the next owner is probably just going to toss your letters in the trash.

Moving Doesn’t Have to be Wasteful

Most people only move once every few years. Some people will go a decade or more without a move. As a result, the process of moving often feels strange and new. The less experience you have with it, the less likely it is that you’ll be as efficient as you should. But instead of just diving into the process blind, take some time to learn about what an eco-friendly move looks like. That way, you can leave behind the smallest footprint possible.

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