Reports show that since 2014, the number of vegans in the United States has increased by 500 percent. That means that 6 percent of Americans now identify as vegan, while only 1 percent did just three years ago. Meat and dairy-free options are available pretty much everywhere you go, too.

According to news reports, however, the demand for chicken wings has actually increased in recent years and people are paying more for them. At a time when vegan living is on the rise, what’s the deal with this wing obsession?

If you’ve ever taken a history class (or watched the news) you know that some American “traditions” were actually never OK and have no place in today’s society—eating chicken wings is one of them.

Chickens are highly intelligent, sensitive animals with unique personalities and feelings—they’re often compared to cats! ? But unfortunately, chickens aren’t protected under the Humane Slaughter Act. This means that humans inflict unimaginable abuse and suffering on them every day in slaughterhouses and on factory farms, just so that they can make money selling their wings and other body parts—and it’s 100 percent legal.

Chickens who’re used in the meat industry often spend their entire lives crammed into filthy sheds with tens of thousands of other birds. Not only are these intensely crowded conditions extremely cruel, they’re also a breeding ground for diseases.

Toronto Chicken Save 

Eyewitness investigations into the “broiler” chicken industry have repeatedly revealed that these birds suffer from dehydration, respiratory diseases, bacterial infections, heart attacks, and crippled legs. Humans have bred these chickens to grow so large so quickly that their legs can’t keep up with the size of their massive bodies.

When chickens are only about 6 weeks old, they’re sent to slaughterhouses, where workers hang them upside down in shackles. A machine slashes their throats, and then immerses them in scalding-hot water to remove their feathers.

chicken cruelty, chicken wings, chicken slaughterhouse

Toronto Chicken Save 

Most of the chickens are still conscious when the machine slashes their throats. Many who either slip past the throat cutter or are still alive after having gone through it are scalded to death in the defeathering tanks.

Don’t be fooled by a label that says chickens came from a “humane” farm. That’s just a marketing ploy—on so-called “humane” farms humans subject animals to the same horrors that others endure on factory farms and in slaughterhouses.

chickens used for meat,

Toronto Chicken Save 

Surely, if people were abusing dogs and cats like this and then selling their body parts, it would be all over the news and those responsible would likely face criminal charges. Chickens feel pain and suffer just as much as dogs and cats do, and they don’t deserve to be treated this way and die just so humans can eat their wings while watching “the big game.”

Some traditions need to end. The time has come for our chicken-wing obsession to become a thing of the past.

Toronto Chicken Save 

Help Chickens Now!

Going vegan doesn’t mean that you have to give up the tastes you love. You can get tons of great vegan chicken products at the grocery store or online, and try out a popular vegan Buffalo “wing” recipe.

Check out peta2’s Guide to Going Vegan for help getting started.