Boiled alive!

There are chickens literally being boiled to death in slaughterhouses. Slaughterhouses don’t have glass walls for a reason. It’s often been said that if slaughterhouses had glass walls we would all be vegetarians. But glass walls or not these stories need to be told.

Chickens are being boiled to death in slaughterhouses across the country, right under the noses of USDA inspectors. We’re absolutely appalled at the cruelty.

Even when everything goes to plan, chickens suffer immensely during the typical slaughter process: they’re hung upside down, stunned, cut, and bled to death. But when the process fails, they may die instead in a scalding tank meant for feather removal from dead chickens. US Department of Agriculture inspectors see it happen routinely. 

At a slaughterhouse in Tennessee, one inspector prevented seven “live, conscious, uncut birds” from boiling to death by pausing the kill line. He noted, “If USDA had not found this noncompliance, loss of process control would have persisted in the slaughter process.” In plain English—if he hadn’t intervened, birds would have continued to boil to death as they sped through the out-of-control system. Meanwhile in Arkansas, an inspector counted ten “red birds” (i.e., chickens boiled alive) emerging from the scalding tank.

And in Mississippi, an inspector “noticed a couple of birds that went into the scald tank alive… vigorously flapping their wings without evidence that their necks had been cut.”

The reports go on and on. Behind every citation, there’s a thinking, feeling creature who died writhing in a vat of scalding water. And for each of them, there are many more chickens whose deaths by scalding are never witnessed.