New ASPCA Campaign Challenges Consumers to Choose More Humanely-Raised Chicken

More than 20,000 have already taken the 30-Day “Change Your Chicken Challenge” to buy only higher-welfare chicken
September 29, 2015

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is encouraging people to take the new “Change Your Chicken Challenge,” in which consumers pledge to, for 30 days, shift their chicken purchases to only higher-welfare certified products that prohibit the most extreme factory farming practices.

With nearly nine billion broiler chickens raised for meat each year, chicken is by far the most consumed meat in America. However, many consumers may not realize that most chickens are raised in overcrowded, artificially lit sheds with less than a square foot of floor space each. They are so weakened by selective breeding for rapid weight gain that they spend much of their lives lying in their own waste, many with open wounds that can act as gateways for bacteria like Salmonella.

Since the challenge launched on September 10, 2015, more than 20,000 people have pledged to choose chicken products raised under conditions with more space, better enrichment and greater opportunities to engage in natural behaviors.

The “Change Your Chicken Challenge” also provides participants with tools needed to navigate the many confusing and meaningless labels found on chicken products and to make more humane buying decisions. These tools include a label guide, product location finders and email support throughout the 30 days. Those who can’t find higher-welfare products locally can request them from their grocery store using this online card.

The ASPCA is pointing chicken consumers toward three labels it considers trustworthy – Certified Humane®, Animal Welfare Approved® and Global Animal Partnership® Steps 2 and above. These programs certify a range of better farming practices, but all three prevent the worst kind of crowding, filth, sickness and suffering endured by chickens on most factory farms.

“The ‘Change Your Chicken Challenge’ gives chicken consumers the information and encouragement they need to make more humane decisions and potentially influence food industries to move away from cruel farm practices and conditions,” said Matt Bershadker, President and CEO of the ASPCA. “Knowing what chicken product labels mean – and what they don’t – is critical to protecting both farm animals and human health.”

The ASPCA created the “Change Your Chicken Challenge” with assistance from digital design agency Nebo, as part of its larger commitment to raising awareness about the treatment of broiler chickens and other farm animals, as well as to educating the public about the meaning and impact of labeling on farm animal welfare.