The Mobile Chicken Pulper: The Next Chapter in Humane-Washing

Imagine being trapped in a nightmare in which you are seized by your legs and carried upside down. You thrash wildly to try to free yourself from the grip of your captor. But resistance is futile. There is no mercy, no regard for your life. Your last conscious experience is the terror of being thrown into a gas chamber connected to a machine from which your body will emerge a few minutes later in the form of ground hamburger. What I’ve just described to you, and what you will see in this video if you watch it, is not a bad dream but the reality behind what “humane farming” advocates are calling a compassionate alternative to commercial slaughter of hens used for eggs.

According to the “Chickpulp” website, “Chick Pulp opens up a new dimension for the efficient processing [slaughter] of spent laying hens [hens used for eggs are killed at only 1.5 to 2 years of age when their egg output declines]: “With its closed system the unit slaughters the animals as stress-free as possible and produces a mash that can be used for [livestock] feed and the petfood industry…”

Slaughtered laying hens are also used in foods like frozen chicken nuggets, canned soup, and fast food chicken sandwiches, where their badly bruised and degraded muscle tissue cannot be detected in the pulped and processed ‘meat’.

But while bringing the mobile slaughterhouse to your farm might spare your animals the horrors of transport, this does not make exploiting and killing animals any more ethical.

Is slaughter made “humane” simply by doing it on a smaller scale, in your own backyard or under the pretext of “strengthening your local food system” as author Ali Berlow would have us believe in her new book the Mobile Poultry Slaughterhouse? How can slashing the throats of 6-week-old baby birds for profit and pleasure — not from necessity — be consistent with acting humanely? Especially when we have an abundance of cruelty-free alternatives?

Why define what is “humane” against the worst case scenario of factory farming instead of the best case scenario: a world that can thrive on a plant-based diet and no longer needs to breed animals into existence for the purpose of enslaving, exploiting and slaughtering them, at all? How can we claim to value animals’ welfare during the short period of their lives we allow them to exist, yet so easily and violently dispose of their lives as if they held no value at all? What does it say about our culture when people like Berlow, who comes from one of the most affluent regions (Martha’s Vineyard) in one of the world’s most affluent countries, still feel entitled enough to harm animals needlessly, for their own pleasure, even after claiming to believe that animals count morally and should therefore be given moral consideration?

Isn’t this notion of humane meat yet another example of Orwellian doublespeak? If you were bred into this world merely to be enslaved, exploited and slaughtered for completely unnecessary reasons, would you maintain that you had been humanely treated? In the words of Voltaire, “If we believe in absurdities, we shall commit atrocities.”

Learn more at our feature, A Closer Look At What Humane Farming Really Means.
Learn more about chickens used for eggs at our Egg Industry Factsheet.

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About Robert Grillo

Robert Grillo is the director of Free from Harm which he founded in 2009 to expose the food industry’s exploitation of animals and foster greater empathy for farmed animals. As an activist, author and speaker, Grillo focuses awareness on the animal’s experience and point of view, drawing on insights from sociology, psychology, popular culture, ethics and social justice to bridge the gap between humans and other animals. As a marketing communications professional for over 20 years, Grillo has worked on large food industry accounts where he acquired a behind-the-scenes perspective on food branding and marketing. His new book, Farm to Fable: The Fictions of Our Animal Consuming Culture, reveals how popular culture uses a variety of fictions that condition us to consume animal products and perpetuate fasle perceptions of animals that make us feel better about exploiting them


  1. Pingback: 12 Egg Facts the Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know | Care2 Healthy Living

  2. It’s those damn FOODIES!!!!!!!!!!!!! They buy into this sustainable/humanely raised BS! These are the same idiots who buy baby chicks through a catalogue and wax poetic about raising chickens without realizing what it means to raise a living sentient being who may or may not produce enough eggs for their family to feast on… And when the chicken no longer produces eggs, what do these “Foodies” do? They either abandon these poor helpless birds or drop them off at a shelter. Also, what happens if some of those ‘chicks’ turn out to be roosters? Yep, off to the shelter they go… People need to stop narcotizing themselves with all this propaganda and face the reality that in order for them to enjoy a steak, a burger, bacon, sausages, porkchops, veal, eggs, cheese and milk and animal must SUFFER and DIE.

    I hate Foodies.

  3. “Passively accepting these beliefs, carnists take pride in eating “cage- free” eggs, hams from “free” pigs, cheese from the milk belonging to “humanely raised” cow’s calves, and legs from “free” dead chickens. These consumers have become washed into believing that a little improvement in egg, meat, and dairy production has stopped the harm. They settle for the slight inconvenience of choosing and paying for a different box of eggs or a non-factory-farmed slab of meat. They believe in happy death, happy meat fantasies, and thus find escape from doing what is really needed. They avoid true and effective personal change.”-Wil Anderson

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