In the United States, more than eight billion chickens are killed for food every year, and the vast majority of these birds are raised under extremely crowded and inhumane conditions. From the time they are born until they are trucked to slaughter, most birds have never spent a moment outdoors.
Today’s birds have been bred to grow several times faster than birds from just fifty years ago. With this rapid growth comes a slew of health problems and deformities. In fact, one of the key reasons that today’s chickens are slaughtered at just six weeks of age—well before they’ve stopped growing—is that “flip over syndrome” and other health problems would drive mortality rates to unprofitable levels if the birds were allowed to continue growing.
Since they are such small animals, each chicken yields a relatively tiny amount of meat. What this means is that to get the same amount of meat produced from just one cow, more than 200 chickens would need to be killed.
Luckily, it’s never been easier to remove chicken from your diet. A new generation of vegan chicken products is convincing enough to fool even trained chefs. So whether you’re looking to enjoy a chicken sandwich, casserole, or breaded tenders with dipping sauce, you can get the taste you’re looking for.