Many meat-eaters consider chicken as the healthier go-to option compared with red meat. While it’s true that it’s leaner and contains less cholesterol and saturated fat, this just isn’t good enough. Here are a few good reasons why you shouldn’t eat chicken.
Why bother the poor birds, when there are so many great vegan chicken substitutes available? You don’t have to give up any classic dishes (like Vegan “Chicken” Noodle Soup, above).
1 Eating chicken can put you at risk for diseases. According to the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, researchers from Oxford University found that chicken consumption can heighten the risk of certain diseases. The Food and Drug Administration also admitted to chicken meat being filled with arsenic, a highly poisonous chemical.
2 Chicken is infested with bacteria, which can lead to food poisoning. In 2013, Consumer Reports ran an analysis on raw chicken breasts from retailers all over the U.S. The analysis found that ninety-seven percent of the samples “harbored bacteria that could make you sick.”
Based on their findings, they discovered that there were high traces of intestinal bacteria present on these samples, including E. coli, Enterococcus, and Salmonella. The Centers for Disease Control writes that each year, 1 million people in the U.S. get sick from eating contaminated poultry.
Chickens at Woodstock Farm Sanctuary
3 Chickens have feelings. According to animal behaviorist Dr. Chris Evans, chickens can be just as intelligent as cats and dogs. He claims that they are “good at solving problems” and can comprehend that objects still exist after they are recently hidden. A study done by researcher Joanne Edgar found that chickens “have empathy and the motherly instinct of hens allows them to ‘feel’ the pain their chicks experience.”
4 The poultry industry is destroying the environment. The United Poultry Concerns reports that this industry kills fish and other wildlife. Also, poultry slaughtering heavily pollutes the land, air, and water with all kinds of things too gross to list here. This also causes issues with our drinking water as nitrate and pathogens transfer to groundwater.
5 There are so many great alternatives. Luckily, brands are stepping up to end cruelty to chickens with plant-based chicken products in more varieties than you could imagine. There are lots of great plant-based chicken brands that will satisfy any chicken craving you may have! See our roundup of 12+ Plant-Based Chicken Alternatives to Look for on Your Next Shopping Trip.
If you’re still not convinced and can stomach more graphic details, see PETA’s Top 10 Reasons Not to Eat Chicken.
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Skyler Isabella Gomez is a 2019 SUNY New Paltz graduate with a degree in Public Relations and a minor in Black Studies. Her passions include learning about the ethical and environmental benefits of veganism to create a better world for generations to come.