Reasons not to eat Chicken and healthy alternatives

Today is National Poultry Day. Worldwide chicken production is up 400% over the last 50 years. People are convinced that birds make a healthier option than pigs or cows. But under all those false promises – leanness, best source of protein, low in fat – poultry is not an ideal health food at all.

Poultry can have the same impact on cholesterol as red meat

Top plant-based physician Dr. Michael Greger has looked at the information – and concluded poultry and fish consumption is not any better than the impact of beef on human cholesterol . He says: “Switching from red meat to white meat likely wouldn’t make any difference [to cholesterol]. And that’s really no surprise given how fat we’ve genetically modified chickens to be these days – up to 10 times more fat than they used to have a century ago.”

97 percent of retail chicken breast is contaminated with dangerous bacteria

When a large amount of chickens are put into a tight space, it’s a breeding ground for bacteria, including salmonella and E. coli. In fact, research from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention found 85 percent of urinary tract infections are caused by E. coli bacteria found in chicken.

According to media reports, tests conducted on raw chicken purchased across the U.S. have found that 97 percent of tested chicken breast samples ‘harbored bacteria that could make you sick’.

The analysis discovered high rates of intestinal bacteria, including E. coli, Enterococcus, and Salmonella.

Chickens are stuffed with cancer-causing arsenic

The Food and Drug Administration [FDA] has admitted that chicken meat is filled with arsenic, a highly poisonous chemical that is four times more toxic than mercury. The substance is given to chickens because it prompts quicker weight gain and less feeding, and it also enhances the pink coloring in raw meat.

When ingested, arsenic can lead to invasive squamous carcinoma, Bowen illness, basal cell skin cancer carcinoma, and liver, kidney, lung, and bladder cancer. And although the FDA is trying to convince the public that chicken meat is still safe for consumption – despite the amount arsenic found – experts have issued a warning about the responsibility of arsenic for fetus damage.

Chicken is contaminated by fecal matter

As part of the chicken slaughtering process, carcasses are typically soaked in cold water for up to an hour before being packaged for consumers.

“We often see birds going down the line with intestines still attached, which are full of fecal contamination,” a federal inspector quoted in a petition and lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture on April 16, 2019 by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine—a nonprofit with 12,000 doctor members, for ignoring concerns over fecal contamination of chicken and other meat.

“If there is no fecal contamination on the bird’s skin, however, we can do nothing to stop that bird from going down that line. Once the bird gets into the water tank, the inspector said, the feces contaminate the other carcasses, creating a “fecal soup.”

The poultry industry has a devastating impact on the environment

The slaughtering of birds on such a massive scale pollutes land, air, and water with deceased carcasses, feces, heavy metals, chemicals, bacteria, parasites, pathogen cysts, and viruses.

Poultry slaughterhouses release large amounts of waste into the environment, polluting land and surface waters – as well as posing a serious threat to humans. The leaching of nitrate and pathogen transfers to groundwater also affects the quality of our drinking water.

Wildlife habitat is also destroyed to make space for new slaughtering plants, therefore resulting in biodiversity losses.

The poultry industry is cruel and barbaric

Typical chickens are raised in huge windowless indoor sheds in groups of 5,000 to 50,000 in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs). The air is thick with ammonia, and they are eating and sleeping in their own waste for their entire lives. Their feet have ulcers from standing in their manure.

Because broiler chickens are bred for fast growth they develop painfully weakened bones from rapid weight gain, which also causes heart attacks, skeletal disorders and lameness. In 1950 it took 84 days for a broiler to reach market weight. Today it takes 38 to 40 days.

Egg-laying chickens, or battery hens, spend their lives crammed in tiny wire cages – stacked like shipping crates – with four to six others, each hen living in a space smaller than and 8½ by 11 inch piece of paper.

There are little to no cruelty regulations in the chicken industry. In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture exempts birds from its enforcement of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, been exempted from the ‘Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, which requires that farm animals be insensible to pain before they’re shackled and killed,” according to the Humane Society of the United States.

If you think cow or pig slaughter is bad, the slaughter of birds is even more horrifying. Because of this exemption, these birds are tortured and their deaths are drawn out, as there are very little cruelty regulations in the industry. While some consumers might take solace in an “organic” or “free-range” label, the reality is 99.9 percent of chickens raised in the United States come from factory farms. It isn’t much different in Canada. More than 800 million intensively-farmed animals were slaughtered in Canada in 2017 (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada).

Think cage free is better? Even if the chickens have been raised on free-range and organic farms, chickens often spend just as much time confined to crowded spaces as those on conventional farms. Did you know chickens will peck each other to death if they’re stressed out? Confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are extremely stressful to chickens.

So what are the alternatives?

There are lots of fantastic alternatives that are far healthier and tastes great! One of our family favorites are these veggie cutlets. Some others delicious alternatives are:

💚 Soy curls
💚 Tofu
💚 Tempeh
💚 Seitan
💚 Cauliflower
💚 Store-bought vegan chicken

Our buffalo cauliflower recipe is in the Art of Green Living group and we’ll be adding the veggie cutlet recipe soon! If you are not already a member just click the join button, answer a few quick questions to join! We’ll be happy to welcome you to our friendly community where we share great ideas, recipes and more ways to live healthier!

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