How is the meat that is most consumed by Brazilians produced?

Why are chickens important?

In addition to being the most numerous terrestrial animal raised for human consumption, more than 5 billion animals per year, chickens are subjected to terrible conditions while confined in warehouses. As the industry prioritizes profit and supplying eating habits for the pleasure of taste in unnecessary proportions, the animals pay a high price.


To start, intensifying the breeding space as much as possible leads to an overcrowded environment, usually in a closed barn and with almost no space for birds to move around, spread their wings, bathe in the sand, scratch, explore the environment, things that are really important for their well-being. This makes this environment uncomfortable and unhealthy, in addition to the fact that the floor is so dirty with waste and the air with such high levels of ammonia, CO2 and dust, that it directly affects their health.

In addition to intensifying production, it has to be accelerated too, as faster the chicken is ready for the slaughterhouse, the more competitive the final price will be and the higher its profitability. To do this, two procedures are used: genetic selection and antibiotics to promote growth.

chicken 8

Genetic improvement or unethical improvement?

Genetic selection is a process that has been going on for decades and aims to select desirable characteristics for greater productivity and profit. One of these characteristics is the rapid growth, up to 3 times faster than natural, which causes a mismatch between the development of the animal’s organs and its muscles, generating painful locomotor problems (bones and joints), overburdening of the heart and lungs, and injuries on the skin and claws.

What is the use of antibiotics?

Poultry farming frequently uses these drugs so that birds absorb more nutrients from the feed, suffer less from diarrhea, and as such gaining weight more quickly. However, this indiscriminate use creates conditions that favor the emergence of bacteria that are resistant to these antibiotics, known as super bacteria. As a result, there is no treatment for diseases caused by these pathogens.


Slaughter time

Finally, the time has come to slaughter. Chickens are hung alive upside down from metal structures and immersed in electrified water to lose consciousness before being slaughtered. However, this method has many flaws, because if the electrical parameters are not well set, the birds will still be conscious and suffer intensely.

Global scenario

Many of these practices are being revised globally and Brazil cannot stay behind, especially since it is the third largest producer and the largest exporter of poultry in the world.

Awareness of this reality is necessary in order to demand that the poultry industry commits itself and implements animal welfare practices, aiming to at least reduce the suffering of these animals exploited by the industry.

Knowing this reality, another question remains: is chicken actually a healthier meat option?

Learn more about

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