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Chickens

WATCH: Chickens winning at life!

WATCH: Chickens winning at life!

Posted 24 February 2016   by Amy         Permalink | 1 Comment

Tags: chickens, video, why veg

Did you know that chickens are AMAZING? Here's proof ...

There's a lot more to chickens than a lot of people realise. Chickens are capable of solving maths problems and can recognise up to 100 other birds by their facial features.

You can help chickens win at life everyday by eating animal-friendly food. We've got tips and animal-free recipes in our FREE Vegetarian Starter Kit. Order yours today.

Order yours now

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A never before seen look inside a hatchery

A never before seen look inside a hatchery

Posted 27 October 2015   by Amy         Permalink | 4 Comments

Tags: chickens, broilers, factory farming, Anonymous, video

You may be aware that male chicks born into the egg industry are killed since they can't lay eggs. But did you know that countless chicks born into the meat industry are also killed on their first day of life, if they are deemed 'unsuitable' to join the 'growers'? And as for the 'growers' -- they're thrown into a life of fear, confusion, suffering and ultimately an early death.

In a world first, Anonymous for Animal Rights have shown us inside a broiler hatchery in Israel through the eyes of a chicken. Everything shown in this footage is common practice (and legal) in Australia too.


WARNING: This video contains graphic vision. Please watch at your own discretion.

Of the billions of chicks born into this world because of humans, almost none of them will ever meet their mothers. Mother hens, when allowed to live naturally, have been found to form a bond with and communicate to their young before they've even hatched! And scientists have found that chickens have the ability to share learnings from one generation to the next.

It saddens me to think that the path we have chosen as a society denies us the opportunity to really know some of the animals we share this planet with. For many humans the main interaction with chickens and other animals bred for meat is as body parts on a supermarket shelf. When we turn to the other animals in our lives -- our pets -- we cringe at the thought of killing and eating them. Many who have been lucky enough to get to know chickens have found them (like cats and dogs) to be infinitely unique in their personalities. Some are shy, some are social. Some are active while others prefer dozing in the sun.

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But no matter their personalities, chickens born onto a meat farm have only one of two grim fates -- death by maceration or gassing in their first days of life, or death at a slaughterhouse 5-7 weeks later, when they're likely too big for their young legs to hold them up, thanks to breeding. We need only to look to children to see that the way we treat animals on a mass scale today, is contrary to our true nature. One of my favourite quotes goes like this:

"You put a baby in a crib with an apple and a rabbit. If it eats the rabbit and plays with the apple, I'll buy you a new car." - Harvey Diamond

We have come a long way down the path of cruelty, perhaps because we have had less opportunity to see the truth than we do now. But as more and more people see for themselves what happens to animals behind closed doors, (thanks to organisations like Anonymous) the trend towards kinder choices grows. If you're ready to join the movement and change direction, it all starts with what you're having for dinner tonight.

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P.S. Chickens are just one of many species who humans have an impact on on a daily basis without ever actually getting to know any of them. Click here to meet the animals.

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4 words that simply shouldn't exist

4 words that simply shouldn't exist

Posted 21 July 2015   by Thomas         Permalink | 1 Comment

Tags: factory farming, chickens, pigs, cows, dairy

If you could choose 4 words to describe your companion animals I'm 100% sure these would NOT make the list.

For most of us, the animals we share our homes with are not something -- they are someone. We know their quirks, their likes, their dislikes. We talk about them as part of the family. But this isn't how most animals in human 'care' are talked about.

You won't believe these 4 words are used to describe living, breathing, thinking beings.

'Livability'

Livability (noun): The likelihood that a chicken who is bred for meat will survive long enough to be sent to slaughter.

For the chicken meat industry, the bottom line is how much meat they can produce. So chickens have been bred to grow as fast as possible. As a result of this unnatural growth, many birds do not even survive the 35 days or so before they are sent to slaughter.

These baby birds --who still chirp and have soft feathers -- often become crippled by the weight of their overgrown bodies. Some starve when they can no longer stand up to reach food or water. For others, their organs shut down, unable to cope with their body's rapid growth.

But for the industry the math is simple -- if the extra weight on birds who make it to slaughter brings in more profit than what they lose in dead birds then it's good for business.

'Chopper cow'

Chopper cow (noun): A dairy cow whose body can no longer produce the high volumes of milk needed for her to be profitable, and so she is sent to slaughter – usually to be turned into ground beef.

Like humans, to produce milk cows need to have a baby. So cows who fail to get pregnant or who don't produce enough milk don't have value to the dairy industry and are trucked to slaughter.

But it's not only older animals who face this fate. The moment calves are born they have often served their purpose -- to make their mothers produce milk. So every year an estimated 1 million calves are separated from their mothers and killed in their first week of life as waste products of the Australian dairy industry.

'Service date'

Service date (noun): The date on which a mother pig is impregnated — either by mating or artificial insemination.

Pigs are clever animals who will often seek out company and affection. Yet factory farms talk about them like they were machinery or 'units' on a production line. When a pig fails to get pregnant she will 'return to service' to be 're-served'.

Sometimes farmers will think a pig is pregnant but after a full term she won't produce piglets. If this happens, she is labeled a "NIP" (not in pig). And, like faulty machinery, if she keeps failing to get pregnant she will be 'destroyed' and sold as low-grade pork.

'Spent'

Spent (adjective): Used to describe an animal who can no longer produce enough milk, eggs or babies to be profitable, and so is sent to slaughter.

Like dairy cows and mother pigs, there is no retirement plan for egg-laying hens. For all of these animals, when they don't produce enough to make a profit, they are disposed of like garbage.

Most dairy cows are considered 'spent' by roughly 6-7 years of age and mother pigs at just 2-3 years of age. Egg-laying hens in Australia are sent to slaughter from as young as 18 months of age.

4-words-piglet.jpg

In the language we use -- and in the eyes of the law -- farmed animals are so often treated differently to the animals we share our homes with. But in their capacity to feel pain, and in their desire to be treated with kindness, they are the same.

If you agree that all animals deserve kindness, the power is in your hands. By making simple, kind choices, you can help protect animals, save lives and inspire others to do the same. Take the first step here.

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Compassionate 5 year old doesn't want to eat animals anymore

Compassionate 5 year old doesn't want to eat animals anymore

Posted 8 July 2015   by Amy         Permalink | 2 Comments

Tags: pigs, cows, chickens, vegetarian, video, Indie-Rose

I wish I was this wise when I was 5 ...

I don't think I could put it any more eloquently than Indie-Rose has.

"Animals are very nice."

Pigs are nice

Chickens are nice

And cows are nice

If you don't want the "animal-people" to be chopped up, you can be a vegetarian.

In case you're a bit unsure, like Indie-Rose was, this is what a vegetarian does:

Eat this

Love this

Sounds pretty awesome right?

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P.S. Indie-Rose's mum told The Mirror that she hasn't eaten meat since this moment 3 months ago :) Share some love for Indie-Rose in the comments below, and for her family for being so supportive of her choice.

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Be part of history

Be part of history

Posted 3 February 2015   by Amy         Permalink | 3 Comments

Tags: Make it Possible, factory farming, pigs, chickens, hens, TV

With every historical movement there is a group leading the charge -- the rally-goers, the protesters, the bra-burners ... the ones who speak out and make a change for the better.

One day, I'm going to write a blog that says factory farming in Australia is officially extinct. Truth. We are getting closer and closer to that day every day. And you can be part of it.

Thousands have already joined the movement to free hens from cages so small they can't stretch their wings ... to free pigs from stalls so small they can't even turn around ... and to end chickens being fattened so fast that they can't even stand up.

And flying the flag for this historical shift is one brave little pig:

I'm excited to tell you that this little pig will be flying across televisions in millions of homes across Australia. On her journey so far she has helped inspire everyone from huge supermarket chains to the little old lady down the street to take steps to help end factory farming.

Just imagine what she will achieve as she is seen by millions more people on their TV screens ...

Change is coming ... and being a part of it couldn't be easier. It's as simple as refusing factory farmed products, eating fewer animal products or going meat-free. How will you take a stand for animals today?

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YOU DID IT! Macca's agrees to dump cage eggs!

YOU DID IT! Macca's agrees to dump cage eggs!

Posted 16 September 2014   by Amy         Permalink | 6 Comments

Tags: McDonald's, factory farming, cage eggs, Victory, good news, chickens, eggs

Oh my chickens! You did it! McDonald's has heard your call for an end to battery cage cruelty and has announced a phase out of cage eggs from all of of their 900 Australian stores.

Thank you!

As the fast food industry's biggest egg user, this is GREAT news for hens. And a big win for people power! Here's how you did it ...

Here's how you beat Macca's:

PEOPLE POWER!

After years of talks with McDonald's getting nowhere, Animals Australia recruited the help of the public (that's you) to help speak up for hens. This is what happened:

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For 87 DAYS STRAIGHT, the most common theme on the McDonald's Facebook wall has been concern for hens and encouragement for the fast food giant to free them from cages.

SECRET WEAPON (ie. cute kids)

Then we told a bunch of kids that McDonald's were using cage eggs and what happened next melted hearts.

This very adorable and very srs video was reported in national media and quickly went viral. So many of our supporters were touched by the messages from these kids that they chipped in to get it on national TV for 2 whole weeks! :)

THE MEDIA

As plans to deploy our not so secret weapon on to the telly drew closer, Channel TEN's The Project aired a story about consumers moving away from cage eggs, and the growing pressure on McDonald's to do the same ...

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That night, McDonald's announced that it would begin the process of phasing out cage eggs!

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BREAKING NEWS: Subway says 'no' to cage eggs too! (17th September) And the good news just keeps rolling in... After a flood of messages to Subway on social media, they have announced that they are phasing out cage eggs too!

What next?

McDonald's commitment (and now Subway's too!) shows without a doubt the impact that people can have when they speak up for animals. This news will make a HUGE difference for hens but there is still lots to be done to free all animals from cruelty! Here's four things you can do today to bring us closer to a world without animal cruelty:

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5 things the egg industry doesn't tell you

5 things the egg industry doesn't tell you

Posted 20 August 2014   by Jesse         Permalink | 1 Comment

Tags: eggs, chickens, chicks, hens, battery cage, factory farming

You already know cage eggs are cruel, but you'll never hear the cage egg industry admit it. So what else might they be cagey about? These five facts may ruffle some feathers.

The egg industry has been accused of planning to manipulate egg prices by killing hens.

The Australian Egg Corporation Ltd is being taken to court because they supposedly told egg producers to slaughter millions of hens and even bury their eggs, in an attempt to keep egg prices high.

Hens in the egg industry don't live to see their second birthday.

Hens can naturally live up to 10 years, but in this industry they are no longer valued the minute they can't make a profit. So from as young as 18 months, when their egg production slows down, hens are packed into crates and trucked to slaughter.

Factory farms have squeezed small family farms out of business.

Over the last 50 years, most egg production has moved from small family farming into factory operations, run by huge companies. Animals are crammed into smaller and smaller spaces, so that fewer staff are needed to keep an eye on the animals. For hens this means a lifetime of misery. For rural towns this means less jobs and profits funnelled into large corporations rather than farming communities.

Male chicks are killed on their first day of life.

Male chicks can't produce eggs, so they have no value to the egg industry. On their first day of life at hatcheries, they are dropped into grinders or gassed to death. Sadly, this happens across the whole egg industry.

You have the power to protect hens and save lives!

At every meal, you have the chance to make life-changing choices for hens. By refusing to buy cage eggs you can help free hens from cages. You can even join the growing number of people discovering delicious egg-free alternatives, and know that you'll be saving the lives of hens and chicks at every meal.

PLEDGE TO HELP HENS!

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Wow. How would you react to this?

Wow. How would you react to this?

Posted 11 June 2014   by Amy         Permalink | 7 Comments

Tags: factory farming, video, Make it Possible, pigs, chickens, why veg

Watch the reactions of these people as they are faced with how they've been sold cruelty to animals:

Wow. Do you feel like those stunned audience members right now? It's a scary thought isn't it, that marketers can make terrible cruelty sound like a good idea.

Fortunately, as the lady in this video by Compassion in World Farming said, the secret weapon is YOU. You have the power to make conscious choices and not be conned by sneaky marketing. In fact, you have the power to free animals from factory farms for good. Here's how:

There are plenty of ways that you can take a stand against factory farming today:

What are you doing to help free animals in factory farms? Tell us about it below.

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If battery hens could rap what would they say?

If battery hens could rap what would they say?

Posted 1 May 2014   by Amy         Permalink | Be the first to comment

Tags: Trillion, battery cages, chickens, chicks, eggs, factory farming, video, song, music, Make it Possible

Not only is NZ rapper, Trillion, a talented musician, he's a pretty good mind reader I reckon. His song 'Dirty Dozen' gets in the head of a caged chicken and, well, you can probably guess that it's pretty dark. BUT Trillion's track is creating a brighter world for chickens. Have a listen and then I'll tell you about how this song is helping to free chooks from cages:

What did you think? This bit in particular got me in the feels – "I want my life, let me outside, let me live in the light". Seems like such a basic request but millions of birds are denied the simple pleasure of sunlight, spending their whole lives confined to crowded cages :(

Thankfully, it doesn't have to be this way. Over 100,000 battery hens have already been freed from cages by Animals Australia supporters making kind choices this year! (Have you signed the pledge yet? You can do so here.) And Trillion is using his awesome track 'Dirty Dozen' to help make an even bigger difference for hens! Not only by spreading the word about the true cost of cage eggs through his lyrics, but by donating profits from the sale of the song to help animals :) What a good egg! (Geddit? #sorrynotsorry)

Anyone that can rhyme irreverence and benevolence is already going straight to the top of my playlist, but helping animals too? I'm in! Click here to download a copy of the track for yourself and make a donation to Animals Australia's campaign to make battery cages history!

Which is your favourite lyric from the song?

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ACT says NO cages and NO crates. Ever!

ACT says NO cages and NO crates. Ever!

Posted 27 February 2014   by Amy         Permalink | 2 Comments

Tags: factory farming, victory, chickens, battery cages, pigs, crates, Make it Possible

The ACT has officially become the first state/territory to ban three of the worst practices of factory farming. For good!

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Woo hoo! I have often wondered, if we had a chance to do it all over again, would we do it differently? The ACT Government is standing up and making sure that animals in the ACT are protected from having to endure some of the worst cruelty of factory farming ever again. Its last battery egg facility has shut down and no pigs are currently factory farmed there. Now a Bill has just been passed to make sure that it stays that way! They've outlawed three of the cruellest factory farming practices ever inflicted on animals:

  • Pig crates – Imagine living your whole life in your bathtub. Every day countless pigs suffer in this level of confinement, unable to even turn around. ACT SAYS NO WAY!
  • Battery cages – A battery hen in Australia lives in a space smaller than an A4 piece of paper, crammed into a wire cage with several others. ACT SAYS NO MORE!
  • DebeakingFactory farmed hens often have the tips of their beaks cut off, to stop them from pecking at other birds. (You would too if you were suffering from severe stress.) NEVER AGAIN IN ACT!

This is a MAJOR WIN in the campaign to make a world without factory farming possible. And if it weren’t for caring people like you speaking up for animals, their voices may not have been heard in parliament :)

The best news is that we don't need to wait for other states to catch up. We can help end animal cruelty by simply showing that there's no demand for factory farmed products with the choices we make. Find out more at www.MakeitPossible.com.

Which state/territory do you hope will be next to ban the cage?

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Breakfast of champions

Breakfast of champions

Posted 10 October 2013   by Amy         Permalink | 1 Comment

Tags: eggs, chickens, chicks, goveg, vegan, food, tofu, recipe

I’ve decided I’m going to share something with you. It’s not something that I let many people in on. It’s my tofu scramble recipe. Now I’m normally the kind of cook who burns stuff to the bottom of the pan, sets off the fire alarm and then orders in takeaway. But my tofu scramble is world-renowned (amongst the handful of people I’ve cooked it for.)

So what’s the occasion? Well, tomorrow is World Egg Day. The thing about the egg industry is that it kills about 12 million male chicks on their first day of life, simply because they can’t produce eggs and are therefore considered waste.

That’s not something I’m keen to celebrate. But there is something that’s worth making a fuss about. And that is that egg-free food is easy, delicious and lifesaving! Which brings me back to my tofu scramble recipe. Because one of my favourite ways to not eat eggs is in a scramble! Give this a go on the weekend and have a little Egg-Free Day party of your own :)

Scrambled Tofu

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Tofu. (I find a medium tofu is best for this but soft works too. Probably about 200-250g per person.)
1 onion, diced
Vegetable oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon turmeric
Soy sauce
1 avo
1 tomato
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
Grumpy princess cat mug (pictured right) is optional, but recommended.

---

Dice up the avo and tomato. Put it in a bowl and dress with a splash of olive oil and salt and pepper. Put aside.

Stir fry onion with veg oil until a little brown. Crumble up the tofu into the frypan and stirfry until it starts to get a little brown and crispy. (Try it out with a handful of dairy-free cheese, like Vegusto or Cheezly, grated in for an extra especially delicious treat.)

Add minced garlic, turmeric and a splash of soy sauce.

Serve on toast with the avo/tomato combo on top.

---

This is my classic fave version but there’s so many ways you can serve it up. Try mixing in sundried tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach instead of doing the avo/tomato thing. Serve that one on some toast with hummus. Yum. Now I’m hungry.

Do you have a favourite egg-free recipe?

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Woolworths is breaking free of cage eggs!!

Woolworths is breaking free of cage eggs!!

Posted 4 October 2013   by Lucy         Permalink | 4 Comments

Tags: factory farming, Make it Possible, eggs, chickens, battery cages, victory

How's this for a good Friday? Not only is it World Animal Day today, but one of the country's biggest supermarket chains has announced it is getting rid of ALL cage eggs from its stores!

This MASSIVE news will mean millions of Aussie hens freed from life in cages so small they can't even stretch their wings. Excuse me but I just have to hashtag this......... #winning #YES #omg

And Woolworths' plan even includes eggs used as ingredients in their home brand products! Yup, that's right: by 2018 NO hens will be suffering in cages to provide Woolies with eggs.

Go on, why not give Woolworths some love for this kind choice on their facebook page – or share this image on yours!

This decision was made thanks to the growing number of caring people (like YOU) who are taking action to help animals in factory farms.

This is seriously a historic day. But if you want to go all the way to help hens, the living conditions in egg factories are only half the story. You see, all laying hens are exactly that: hens (meaning they're female). What about the boys?

This is the super sad part.... :-(

Each year millions of day-old male chicks hatched for the egg industry are gassed to death or ground up alive -- just because they will never grow up to lay eggs.

But you can help protect them! The simplest way to stop the suffering of hens and male chicks is to go egg free. That's it! And it's EASY, too: just check out all these delicious egg free recipes.

Do you have a favourite cruelty free dish? Share it in the comments!

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ACT KO's FF

ACT KO's FF

Posted 23 September 2013   by Amy         Permalink | 1 Comment

Tags: factory farming, victory, chickens, battery cages, pigs, crates, Make it Possible

Something amazing happened in the ACT last week. Legislation was tabled that would make three of the cruellest factory farming practices ILLEGAL throughout the territory -- debeaking (cutting bits of a chick's beak off without pain relief), battery cages and pig crates.

And the best news? This bill is expected to pass!

This groundbreaking bill shows that an informed community won't tolerate cruel and inhumane practices, and sets an important precedent for all states to follow.

Help speed along the day when ALL animals are freed from factory farms, by making kind choices today. Join the movement at www.MakeitPossible.com.

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Young girls fight to free pigs.

Young girls fight to free pigs.

Posted 20 August 2013   by Amy         Permalink | 1 Comment

Tags: Make it Possible, Coles, factory farming, pigs, chickens, video, Activist Challenge, contest, winner

This put a HUGE smile on my face!

When I was ten years old, I thought that being active meant getting out of bed on athletics carnival day. (Somehow mum always saw straight through my carnival day sickies.)

But Tess and Phoebe from Summer Hill (doesn’t that sound like a magical place?) have a whole different idea about what it means to get active. They have been using their karate craft-making skills and butt-kicking baking abilities to campaign for animals!

“We want to see a world without factory farming because animals deserve so much more than to spend their whole life cooped up in a tiny cage,” say Tess and Phoebe. And they are not alone... More than 150,000 people have made the Make It Possible pledge to help end factory farming:

Thankfully there are activists out there like Tess and Phoebe who are speaking up for animals. Which is why they are Unleashed’s latest Activist Challenge Winners. And if you're feeling inspired by Tess and Phoebe's efforts, you can head here to start raising funds for animals as well.

Have you been getting active for animals? Tell us what you’ve been up to and you could be the next Activist Challenge winner. (Psst psst ... there’s an awesome prize pack in it for you ;) ).

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Factory farmers scared of flying pigs

Factory farmers scared of flying pigs

Posted 6 June 2013   by Amy         Permalink | 7 Comments

Tags: Make it Possible, ad, Coles, factory farming, pigs, chickens, video

I've been on the edge of my seat these past few days, wanting to let you know about Animals Australia's Make it Possible shopping bags being sold in Coles supermarkets. But the last day or so has been a real rollercoaster ride. So now that news has changed.

The National Farmers Federation has been doing everything it can to keep shoppers in the dark about factory farming. And we're simply not going to let that happen!

Here's the rundown:

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When Coles announced that they would be selling our Make it Possible bags in stores for the month of June, the rural lobby went into a frenzy. They called for producers to boycott Coles. (Someone needs to tell them that opposing a campaign to help people make kind choices for animals is really not a good look.)

Coles stood strong in their support of the campaign and have been overwhelmed by public praise, from everyone, except factory farmers and live exporters (big surprise). But sadly, amidst the vicious attack from the NFF, those at the heart of this issue -- the animals -- were being forgotten. And we could not stand by and let that happen!

The hens in tiny cages, the mother pigs crammed in crates, and the 'meat' chickens who will never see sunlight need their stories to be told!

We knew it was time to get the conversation back onto the animals ... So we've asked Coles to remove the bags from sale, for now. And we're switching gears and putting our foot down on the accelerator!

The farming lobby doesn't want to see this little pig in supermarkets? Fine. We'll beam her into every living room across the country instead! Starting next week, the award winning Make it Possible ad will be back on television -- nation-wide. In case you're wondering which ad I'm talking about, here's a refresher (the extended version):

I'm sure you are just as mad as I am about the farming lobby opposing an initiative to improve animal welfare. So channel that outrage into action, and help achieve what they so desperately wanted to avoid -- exposure of how animals suffer in factory farms. Here's what you can do to help:

  • Share the Make it Possible film on your facebook page. Make sure everyone hears about the cruelty the NFF wanted to hide.
  • Send some love to Coles.They deserve a cyber high five. They've been a leader on animal welfare amongst Aussie supermarkets and we'll keep encouraging them to do more for animals.
  • Grab yourself a Make it Possible bag here. (Since you can't get them in Coles anymore, we've put them on special online.) Then waltz that little piggy right into Coles for every other shopper to see. If you get a picture of yourself shopping with your bag, make sure to post it on Unleashed's facebook page, because I wanna see :)
  • Piggify your profile pic

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A bird's eye view of a battery cage.

A bird's eye view of a battery cage.

Posted 15 November 2012   by Anthony         Permalink | 5 Comments

Tags: Make it Possible, hens, eggs, battery cages, chickens, factory farming, cruelty

You probably already know what a battery cage looks like from the outside. But can you imagine what it must be like trapped on the INSIDE?? Find out with this interactive simulation which puts YOU in the cage. Step inside ...

What'd you think? Awful, isn't it? And yet that is what battery hens in factory farms experience for every minute of their entire lives. On average, a battery hen will spend up to two years in a cage like that - with no stimulation, no fresh air, no dirt beneath their feet. After two years, these hens produce less eggs then they used to, so they're gotten rid of - trucked to the slaughterhouse.

It doesn't seem fair, does it? It's not like people even need to eat eggs - check out the alternatives that are all readily available.

Wanna know more about hens trapped in factory farms? Then spend just two minutes watching this.

You can rage against cages with over 60,000 other Aussies who have already taken the Make it Possible pledge. Join them to make the world a kinder place for animals.

P.S. Want to know what the labels on egg cartons really mean for hens (and chicks)? Then grab this handy chart for the fridge at home.

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Gumby exposes battery cage hell.

Gumby exposes battery cage hell.

Posted 17 September 2012   by Anthony         Permalink | 6 Comments

Tags: chickens, eggs, battery cages, hens, Gumby, celebrity

If you wanted to know the full story about where cage eggs come from - where would you go for the info? A website set up by the Australian Egg Corporation Ltd (AECL)? Or would you ask an imaginary green man named Gumby from the 1950s? If you chose the imaginary Gumby, you'd be ... CORRECT!

In case you don't know, Gumby was a plasticine man (thing?) on the telly from the 1950s right through to the 1980s. Him and his mates (including a talking horse and a dinosaur that drives a car) spent each episode getting crazy and generally having a good time. Now believe it or not, but it seems Gumby is more interested in schooling people about the reality of cage eggs than the AECL are! Check out this episode of Gumby where the Blockheads kidnap his friend Tilly (who is a chicken. Yes, Gumby is friends with a chicken - legend.)

Here's what Gumby got right about cage egg production:

  • Hens will never feel the sun on their feathers.
  • They're confined to cages their entire lives, with no chance for exercise.
  • Hens suffer broken bones and lameness after spending their lives in a cramped cage.
  • If a hen stops laying eggs, she's in serious trouble

The most accurate part comes at the 1.41 minute mark though. When Tilly asks where she is, her caged neighbour replies, "This is hell". Pretty heavy stuff for a kids show!

So how does this match up against what the AECL wants you to know about battery hens? On their website about hen welfare, they've listed all the supposed advantages for chickens confined in battery cages. (Remember, the space each bird gets inside these cages is not much larger than an A4 sheet of paper, and chickens spend their ENTIRE lives in there).

1) "If a bird does become sick, cage-based housing makes it easier to identify and remove birds for treatment." That's a touching thought, but I'm not sure that the sick bird at the end of this video would consider her 'treatment' that helpful. And it's not uncommon for birds to die unnoticed in their cage, leaving their cage mates stuck in a cage with their dead body.

2) "Better protection from in-fighting and cannibalism." The reality is hens have the tips of their beaks sliced off to prevent them from pecking at each other in their cramped cage. Since when was cutting bits and pieces off animals to make them fit cruel systems ok?

3) "Protection from the elements and predators like eagles, snakes, foxes and feral cats." But I want to know who's protecting them from factory farmers! Being doomed to a life sentence in a battery cage is no life. They'll never smell fresh air, or even get to properly stretch their wings.

One fact that neither Gumby or the AECL mention, is what happens to all the male chicks in the egg industry (sadly, not just for cage eggs)...

"Hell" pretty much sums it up :(

The simplest way to make sure you aren't supporting chicken cruelty is to go egg-free (or if not, then at the very least ditch cage eggs). Your body doesn't need eggs any more than it needs plasticine and you can find egg replacers at most big supermarkets. You can do your bit to help hens by pledging to make the battery cage history.

(p.s. Want to know what all the other labels on egg cartons really mean for hens (and chicks)? Then grab this handy chart.)

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From factory farm to freedom

From factory farm to freedom

Posted 30 June 2012   by Karen         Permalink | 7 Comments

Tags: hens, chickens, FREEDOM, factory farming

Rescued broiler chicken, AutumnThis is Autumn. She was recently rescued from a factory farm and is only now experiencing life's simple joys for the very first time.

Autumn is quiet, but when she chirps, she sounds like a baby. She never knew her mother, but constantly seeks comfort and protection from those around her.

Until recently, the only life she knew was inside the walls of a factory farm. She never saw the sun. She had no room to move, and lay in faeces covered litter every hour of every day.

Autumn was valued only for how much meat she could produce. Her body was bred to grow many times faster than nature intended. At just 30 days old, she already carries the weight of an adult, and struggles to walk.

Chickens like Autumn are not designed to live past six weeks. Soon Autumn is likely to succumb to lameness or heart failure. But in her last weeks or months, she is discovering what brings joy and meaning to her life. Her eyes close in delight whenever the sun hits her face. She has developed a profound love for watermelon. Yesterday, she learned to dust bathe...

She enjoys time with her feathered companions. In fact, she becomes distressed if she and her best friend Summer lose sight of one other.

Last week the chickens Autumn grew up with were packed into crates and trucked to slaughter. This week they will be on supermarket shelves.

Autumn lives on, and if you share this, so will her story.

She is someone, not something.

Thanks to Tamara Kenneally Photography for providing Autumn's photo and providing sanctuary for her to live out her life in peace. And thanks to you, for caring. Every meal is a choice. Animals like Autumn are depending on us to make compassionate ones.

UPDATE: Sadly, Autumn passed away in late July. Rescued and given a loving home, her last weeks of life were filled with simple joys that most chickens are never given the chance to discover. Brought into this world only two months ago, trapped in a body that was designed not to sustain life, but to grow unnaturally fast. She was just one of millions who grow up in factory farms across Australia. Farewell Autumn.

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VICTORY! Tassie to ditch battery cage!

VICTORY! Tassie to ditch battery cage!

Posted 17 May 2012   by Jesse         Permalink | 20 Comments

Tags: victory, factory farming, pigs, chickens, battery cages, take action

Wow wow wow! I've got some amazing news to share: Tasmania has just become the first state in Australia to commit to completely phasing out battery cages!

After years of campaigning by Animals Australia and Brightside Farm Sanctuary, hens in Tassie will finally be free from those dreadful cages!

And if that weren't enough reason to jump for joy, there's more...

The Tassie Minister for Agriculture has also announced that they are going to fast track the phase out of pregnant sow crates. You might remember a couple of years ago they committed to getting rid of these cruel crates by 2017... well now they are promising to have 'em gone for good by the middle of next year!

If you've ever written a letter, shared a campaign video or spoken out for battery hens and mother pigs, then give yourself a pat on the back. You've been a part of making history today!

That's one state down, and just a few more to go (don't worry, the first one's always the hardest)...

Across the rest of Australia mother pigs can still be locked in cramped crates, where they can't even turn around. And get this: an estimated one in every six battery hens lives in chronic pain with a broken bone.

When Tassie first announced their phase out of pregnant sow crates in 2010, the pig industry soon followed (with a little 'encouragement' from Animals Australia's campaigns) with promises of a voluntary national phase out of sow crates, by 2017.

Don't you think it's about time the egg industry voluntarily phased out battery cages?!

Here's the deal.. if you want to help hens and pigs around Australia, there are two important emails you can shoot off asap:

  1. Tell Australian Egg Corporation Ltd (AECL) that the writing is on the wall! Tassie is phasing out battery cages, so it's about time they do the right thing and commit to a voluntary phase out of battery cages. Email AECL here: contact@aecl.org
  2. Tell Australia Pork Ltd (APL) to hurry up! If Tassie can get rid of pregnant sow crates by next year, why can't the rest of Australia? Email APL here: apl@australianpork.com.au

Once you've sent those off it's time to celebrate!

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Missy Lends Her Voice to the Birds

Missy Lends Her Voice to the Birds

Posted 30 April 2012   by Anthony         Permalink | 1 Comment

Tags: Missy Higgins, chickens, eggs, battery cages, video, bands, music

Missy Higgins is the complete package -- a chart-topping musician, a budding actress, and best of all, she practically oozes compassion. As well as releasing her latest (sure-to-be) hit album, Missy has joined forces with Animals Australia to give her beautiful voice to the most abused animals on the planet -- battery hens.

So why is Missy speaking up for hens? Well, in the EU, battery cages have been completely banned. But get this -- in Australia, 12 MILLION hens are still imprisoned in battery cages! Whaaat??

These hens live their whole lives in a space no larger than an A4 piece of paper. They can't stretch or flap their wings; and as chicks they have their beaks sliced off with a hot blade! And I hate to say it, but there's so much more I could tell you.

So ... YOU know about the cruelty involved with cage eggs, and MISSY knows about it too. What about your friends though? If you think they should know, then throw the video on your facebook or share it on twitter.

P.S. There's another reason why you should give eggs a miss. The biggest difference you could make for our feathered friends is to simply not buy eggs. It's easy, makes sense and hey ... it doesn't cost anything!

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The truth is hard to swallow

The truth is hard to swallow

Posted 20 February 2012   by Jane         Permalink | 3 Comments

Tags: advertising, pigs, chickens, factory farming, Voiceless, Hugo Weaving, Abbie Cornish

I'm always heartened when I hear other people discussing animal welfare issues in the street or on TV. So I was pretty chuffed to turn on my computer this morning and see that Voiceless launched an ad campaign today that will have everyone talking. Check this out:

Did you know that countries in Europe have already outlawed those awful sow stalls that the mother pigs are stuck in, unable to even turn around? And those adorable little pigs being used for 'pork belly' have probably had their teeth clipped and tails cut off without pain killers? Yep, this happens every day in Australia. But wait, there's more:

This could be a scene from NCIS! Describing in graphic detail how the victim suffered before they died always makes for riveting television -- but this victim is one of millions of chickens going through this every year right here in Australia. There won't be any murder investigations here, but who needs to watch NCIS when there's gruesome tales of broken bones or prisoners being locked up and never seeing the sun, right there in the meat section of the supermarket freezer?

These are stories that need to be told -- kudos to Voiceless for these awesome ads, and to Hugo Weaving and Abbie Cornish for using their fame to speak up for factory farmed animals.

Please share these ads on Facebook and Twitter and get more people talking about how we can all help animals every day!

Tell us -- which of these ads would you most like to see on TV?

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Check out our Year in Review video!

Check out our Year in Review video!

Posted 13 December 2011   by Jesse         Permalink | 2 Comments

Tags: video, Animals Australia, year in review, live export, factory farming, milk, wool, sheep, cows, chickens

Gosh, what a year it's been! Animal rights hit the mainstream in a big way in 2011. Check out this inspiring vid by Unleashed's big sister, Animals Australia for some of the highlights:

We just want to say a big 'thank you' to you for everything you've done to support our campaigns this year. If you attended a rally, wrote emails or letters, took action on our website, or did anythign else to support our work, then thank you for helping us have such a big impact for animals in 2011.

Here's to another great year in 2012!

p.s. Don't forget to share this video with your friends on facebook and twitter to show them what you've been a part of achieving in 2011.

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A Sweet Idea for This Friday!

A Sweet Idea for This Friday!

Posted 12 October 2011   by Jesse         Permalink | 13 Comments

Tags: eggs, vegan, dessert, cupcakes, chickens, chicks, activism

If you ask me, Friday's are pretty sweet... after all, it's almost the weekend. But this week we've got a plan to make Friday even sweeter.

This Friday (14th October) is World Egg Day... I know, I know... you're thinking "What could be sweet about a day celebrating an industry that locks 11 million hens in cages with less space per bird than an A4 sheet of paper, that kills hens who aren't producing enough eggs (usually at around 18months of age) and that kills about 12 million male chicks on their first day of life - simply because they weren't born female, and so can't produce eggs?" ... like this:

... but hold up a sec, and I'll tell you what we have in mind.

This Friday, we'd like to invite you to join us in protesting the egg industry's cruelty to chickens in just about the tastiest way we know how... by baking a delicious egg-free cake!

I know what I'll be baking - Maple Cupcakes with Sugared Walnuts from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. But if you're not quite as maple syrup obsessed as I am, you could always go for this heavenly chocolate cupcake recipe, or make a chocolate mudcake, or apple and almond tea cake, or banana date slice... the options are endless!

And by sharing your cruelty-free cake with friends (I know it's hard :P), you can show them just how sweet making a difference for chickens can be!

So, what are you going to bake this Friday for World Egg-Free Day?

P.S. You can also spread the word about World Egg-Free Day by making the image below your facebook profile pic in the lead up to Friday. (Right click on the image to download and save the file ('save image as'), upload it to Facebook and make it your new profile pic. Then tag all your friends, to grab their attention!)

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Would you like lies with that?

Would you like lies with that?

Posted 19 September 2011   by Jesse         Permalink | 20 Comments

Tags: chickens, factory farming, advertising, KFC, Steggles, La Ionica

If somebody told you that an animal was 'free to roam', you'd probably think that's a pretty good situation, right? Not so if you're a chicken in a factory farm. Can you believe the chicken industry has been calling this 'free to roam'?!

free-to-roam-shed.jpg

Alright, it's probably no surprise that an industry willing to lock thousands of animals in sheds like this is also willing to bend the truth when they try to sell dead animals to the public. But this time around, it doesn't look like they'll get away with it.

free-to-roam-injured-hen.jpg

Following a complaint, prompted by Animals Australia, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has decided to take a number of chicken producers (including producers for Steggles and La Ionica) to court for misleading advertising.

But these companies aren't the only ones using these dodgy tactics to sell chickens. Seeing the writing on the wall, KFC have now taken all claims that their chickens are 'free to roam' off their website.

If the ACCC case is successful, then Steggles, La Ionica and the Australian Chicken Meat Federation will be forced to publicly correct their misleading claims.

free-to-roam-faeces.jpg

If only the ACCC could also force them to tell the public that birds inside their sheds have been selectively bred to grow so unnaturally fast that many cannot even lift their own body weight to reach food or water. Or that they kill the birds when they are only 6 weeks old -- cutting their lives short by about 11 years. Or that because these animals are forced to live in their own waste many suffer chemical burns to their chest and legs.

But we don't need to wait for the chicken industry to admit their shady sales tactics. Take the Quiz to find out if you've been duped by the chicken industry. Then click here to post it to Facebook and challenge your mates to see if they can see through the industry spin.

Update: 10th January, 2012 -- Chicken meat company La Ionica has agreed to settle! They've been ordered to pay a $100,000 fine, remove the misleading advertisement from shops and publish an ad admitting liability in a Melbourne newspaper. Baiada, Bartter and the Australian Chicken Meat Federation are continuing with the case though, which will go to court in March of this year. Stay tuned!

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The Only Voice They've Got

The Only Voice They've Got

Posted 29 July 2011   by Jane         Permalink | 4 Comments

Tags: video, factory farming, chickens, eggs, milk, pigs, bacon, sheep

Every now and then you see a clip that really makes you stop and think. This is undoubtedly one of them:

It's not every day that you'd get such a short vid that manages to get in so many shocking elements in such an effective way.

From the bacon slices to the roast chicken, the eggs, the milk and even the mayonnaise, this talented film maker has provided a voice for pigs, broiler chickens, laying hens and dairy cows in just 30 seconds. All the while flickering this important line "You may be blind to this but you're the only voice they've got".

And the final sound of an innocent sheep crying really brings home the point that we must use our voices to help end the suffering of these exploited animals.

Thanks so much to Brett Ludeman from Storybottle for creating such a haunting vid for Unleashed, and for showing others the reality of their dinner or their cup of milky coffee.

What do you think of this ultra short film? Do you know anyone who would be blind to this? You could share the video and help them open up their eyes and their ears and use their voice to help animals.

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The Bravery of an Ex-Battery Hen

The Bravery of an Ex-Battery Hen

Posted 19 May 2011   by Jane         Permalink | 6 Comments

Tags: chickens, cage eggs, battery cages, factory farming, video

angel_ex-battery_hen.jpg

An ex battery hen has won a Braveheart Award from a veterinary clinic in the UK! Angel was struggling to lay an extra large egg when her human companion (and rescuer) Lorraine Fox noticed she had a prolapsed vent.

I hear you asking "What's a prolapsed vent?"
Lightning fast biology lesson: Sometimes called "uterine prolapse". If a chicken is attempting to lay an egg that is larger than normal, part of her oviduct (the equivalent of a human female's uterus) can be pushed out as well. As you can imagine, having raw inflamed tissue that should be inside the body exposed outside of the body is extremely painful. (Sorry, if you're a tad squeamish!)

Fortunately, the crook chook was rushed off to the vet straight away. After some very tricky and complicated surgery (called a cloacapexy - there's your new word for the day!), Angel recovered amazingly well and was back to her old self within a day :)

Unfortunately prolapses are actually a fairly common occurrence among laying hens, both in cages and free range. The difference between hens on factory farms in battery cages and Angel, is that Angel now has a loving attentive human companion who noticed that she was sick straight away and raced her to the vet to save her.

Battery hens are almost never this lucky. Stacked in cages up to 4 levels high with up to 5 hens to a cage, it's easy for workers to not notice sick birds. Many birds with prolapsed vents die in agony from infection in their cage and are not discovered for days. If they are discovered, they are likely killed, or worse, simply thrown out live and left for dead. This may have even been Angel's fate had she not already been rescued by Lorraine.

If only every hen was lucky enough to a loving, caring home and friends to look out for them!

Do you know of an animal who deserves a bravery award?

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Chickens Aren't Bird-Brains. They're Amazing!

Chickens Aren't Bird-Brains. They're Amazing!

Posted 22 April 2011   by Jane         Permalink | 15 Comments

Tags: Chickens, eggs, meat, Easter

Whenever Easter is upon us I start thinking of the usual suspects: rabbits and chickens (although what a rabbit has to do with eggs I'm still trying work out!). I've not had a lot to do with bunnies but chooks hold a firm place in my heart, even though they're sometimes referred to as ...well, bird brains!

A study last year proved that chickens are in fact, incredibly clever. So much so that they have different calls for things like food, and because of this females are more likely to choose their mates based on intelligence (ie "how good is he at finding food and then telling me about it?")

I already knew that chooks are pretty special, and this was confirmed during a nutrition assignment I did two years ago at Uni. Each group had 20 day old chicks (10 boys and 10 girls) that had been bred for the meat industry (called broiler chickens). We were to feed them, weigh them, assess their health, etc every day for 6 weeks, even on weekends. I knew what their fate was at the end of the project so I offered to take ours home. I knew I could find homes for 20 chooks and probably even more. But my supervisor told me it was pointless. You see broiler chickens can't live past 7 weeks even if they aren't sent to slaughter.

investigationsbroilerchickeninvestigatio

After years of selective breeding for fast growth, these baby birds were growing at an epic rate right before our eyes. Meat chickens now grow three times faster than normal. By 6 weeks old they are the size of fully grown birds, only they are still babies, chirping and struggling to move their massive bodies using underdeveloped baby legs.

That was a very tough 6 weeks for me. These birds got to know us and were friendly and funny. One girl would even run to the edge of the cage when she saw us coming, so sweet. Number 5 was her name. Isn't that cold? Number 5.

During the project, two of our birds died. One boy had a blocked crop (the part on their throat where the food gets kind of ground up and digested), possibly after he'd accidently swallowed some sawdust from the floor litter, so he kept eating as his crop became huge and his body became malnourished. He was starving and we knew he wouldn't get better without medical treatment. But that would involve putting him on different feeds, which would ruin the project data, God forbid. Eventually a uni worker 'euthanised' him by chopping his head off. Imagine if we euthanised our pets this way! The second boy flipped onto his back while I was refilling the feed one day. His wings flapped frantically, slamming the cage floor as I desperately called for help. Then he just stopped and lay still. His young overworked heart had given out under the immense weight of his mutant body. He was finally at peace, and I stroked him goodbye through tears.

investigationsbroilerchickeninvestigatio

By week 6 of the project, Number 5 didn't run to greet us anymore. She couldn't. She could hardly move at all. Not even to reach the feeders or the water trays which were actually moved up higher and higher to encourage the chicks to stand. But it was just too painful for her. It was almost like the feeder trays were mocking our hungry friend.

The final day was the worst. The girls in my group and I picked up our birds lovingly and held them to us, saying "goodbye" and "sorry" as we moved them into the trays that would be stacked on top of each other on the back of a truck. We sobbed the whole time. It was a sunny day and the birds squinted at the huge ball of fire in the sky that they'd never seen before. They wouldn't see it for long. The truck drove off to the slaughterhouse, with our beautiful clever birds on board, Number 5 wondering where she was off to on this cramped bumpy ride and wondering what kind people would be there when she arrived. Even the sickest birds were on there, weak from hunger, joints aching, some with newly blocked crops. I cried as much as I've ever cried before as white baby bird feathers flew past my face and the truck rattled down the road.

I'd already stopped eating chicken years before this happened. But I decided then and there that I couldn't eat eggs either. Even though our birds weren't layer hens, I knew I wanted absolutely nothing to do with the exploitation of an amazing species I now loved. And that certainly meant no more eggs. (I've since discovered so much horror behind eggs!)

So these new research findings are nothing new to me. Chickens are truly incredible birds full of personality and love. And they are anything but "bird brains"!

If you must decorate an egg this Easter, use papier mache and paint away! Or buy a dairy-free chocolate egg and tie a ribbon around it in tribute to the millions of intelligent chickens that suffer and die for meat and eggs in Australia each year.

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You could even symbolically adopt your own baby bird as a reminder that we need to do all we can to help these chickens. I already have. She sits on my desk and I named her Number 5.

Have you had an experience like this before?

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Carl Cages Himself for Chickens!

Carl Cages Himself for Chickens!

Posted 5 April 2011   by Jane         Permalink | 15 Comments

Tags: eggs, chickens, cage, activism, battery cage, news, new zealand

There's a new legend in town! New Zealander, Carl Scott is at this very moment, sitting alone in a tiny cage next to a highway, and he plans to stay there for a whole month!

Why? To shine the spotlight on the cruel treatment of chickens kept in battery cages for their eggs (yes, sadly the situation in NZ is not much different to Australia). Now that's commitment!

The space he's living in for the next month is less than two metres across, 130cm high (he can't even stand up!) and even includes his toilet. Yet Carl would be the first to tell you that despite these cramped conditions he's still got it way better than the average chook (let's call her Betty).

To start with, Betty doesn't have her own cage; she has to share it with up to 5 other birds, with less than the space of an A4 piece of paper for each to live in . She can't even flap her wings!

Betty's cage is one of thousands of cages, stacked in rows - up to four cages high. Living in the bottom row, she is showered with waste from hens locked in cages above hers.

Betty has lost many of the feathers that would keep her warm from constantly rubbing against the wire of the cage. If Betty isn't living in chronic pain from an untreated broken bone, then stats suggest that at least one of her cagemates is. [1]

For virtually her entire life, she has been locked in this tiny cage in a windowless shed. The short time before she was put in this cage was no more pleasant. During that time the tip of her beak was sliced off with a hot iron, without any pain relief.

Even if Betty survives life in this miserable cage, her only 'reward' for producing eggs will be death. When she no longer lays enough eggs to be 'profitable', she will be trucked off to slaughter with her cage-mates (before her second birthday), without ever knowing the simple joys of dustbathing, perching or building her own nest.

There is absolutely no doubt that chickens in battery cages endure a life of hell. None of us would want to trade places with them. Which makes Carl's demonstration all the more heroic. Carl, you're a legend!

If you don't think any person or animal should be forced to live this way, have your say for chickens in New Zealand here and chickens in Australia here.

Do you think you could spend a month in a cage for the cause?

Ref [1] Parkinson G (1993), "Osteoporosis and bone fractures in the laying hen", Progress report of work at the Victorian Institute of Animal Science, Attwood

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The Good News Just Keeps Coming!

The Good News Just Keeps Coming!

Posted 18 November 2010   by Jesse         Permalink | 11 Comments

Tags: pigs, chickens, factory farming, APL, Coles, victory

If you thought last week was full of good news for animals, that was just the beginning ... the good news has just kept coming this week!

Yesterday Australian Pork Limited announced that they were "pursuing a voluntary phase out" of sow stalls by 2017. Now we all know that 2017 really isn't soon enough - I mean Coles has committed to doing the same by 2014 - but this still marks a major victory and means ultimately millions of mother pigs will be spared a miserable life of solitary confinement.

But wait, there's more! This morning Coles added another to their recent streak of animal welfare improvements. They've announced they will be completely ditching their own brand of cage eggs by 2013. I don't think I need to tell you that this is good news for those who care about animals and bad news for animal abusers.

I'm gonna say it... this is the beginning of the end for factory farming! Supermarkets and industry (or at least the pig industry) are seeing the writing on the wall. Factory farming's days are numbered. Really, once the public realises that piglets have their tails cut off without pain relief, or that chickens raised for meat are crammed into sheds by the thousands only to marinate in their own waste for 42 days before slaughter, will they want to support those practices? I think not!

At this rate we'll be out of a job in no time (ok maybe that's wishful thinking). But really, if you want to help put us out of a job and give animals the ultimate protection they deserve then the answer's simple - don't eat 'em.

Tell me, what factory farming practice would you like to see put into the history books next?

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Rise Against Tee Winners Announced!

Rise Against Tee Winners Announced!

Posted 14 October 2010   by Jane         Permalink | 4 Comments

Tags: merch, Rise Against, bands, giveaway, chickens

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Check out these fabulous photos of our Rise Against Comp winner Timothy with his feathered friends! Wouldn't it be wonderful if all chooks could enjoy this kind of life. Have you ever seen happier hens?
Cheers for the pics, Tim!

The other lucky winners were Jen, Darth Vegan, and Arieluxable. Congratulations guys! Guard the autographed Unleashed T shirts with your life (and no, we wouldn't advise wearing it to the Big Day Out!) ;)

Big thanks go to the Rise Against guys for being so generous and happy to speak up for animals. In case you missed the band's exclusive interview, here it is for you to enjoy:

Don't fret if you didn't win this awesome comp, 'cause we love to give away goodies and signed stuff from awesome artists. Make sure you enter to win a copy of the new book 'Meat is for Pussies', from Cro-Mags front man and author John Joseph. Don't forget to enter the free stickers giveaway this month too!

So keep checking back to Unleashed to win cool stuff, and remember we LOVE seeing your photos posted to the community too!

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Throwing Animals in Bins is Wrong, Right?

Throwing Animals in Bins is Wrong, Right?

Posted 25 August 2010   by Jane         Permalink | 38 Comments

Tags: news, cats, chickens, eggs, vegan

This is making headline news around the world: After 4 year old tabby cat, Lola, greeted Mary Bale in the street for a quick pat, Mary grabbed her by the scruff of the neck and shoved her into a wheelie bin before walking away. Lola was trapped inside the bin for 15 hours. Luckily, this was all caught on film, otherwise Lola may never have been found!

After the footage was posted on Facebook, people worldwide have been outraged that anyone could do such a thing to a defenceless animal.

Surely throwing an animal into a wheelie bin, any bin, and leaving him or her to die is illegal ... well ... it depends on the animal ...

We know that eggs come from hens and that hens are female. So when one hen stops laying eggs, she gets replaced with another ...female. All the egg industry needs are female birds to keep clucking along.

What happens to a chick if he's born a male? Unfortunately, he ends up in the bin. But the difference here is that when male chicks are thrown into bins at hatcheries across the globe, there are no security cameras filming the people responsible, no one will come to their rescue. Every year in Australia alone, an estimated 12 million day old baby birds are either ground up alive or tossed into a bin on top of their brothers to be gassed to death... and this is legal!

See for yourself what happens inside the world's largest hatchery (the same thing happens here):

No animal (furry or feathered) deserves to be tossed into a bin and left for dead. Fortunately, we can all take a stand against this cruelty by giving eggs the flick. No yolk, it's easy as vegan pie!

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How To Ruin A Date

How To Ruin A Date

Posted 28 May 2010   by Jesse         Permalink | 12 Comments

Tags: un-wishlist, gifts, Hungry Jacks, factory farming, pigs, chickens, deodorant, rant

A couple of weeks ago I started my un-wishlist - all the things I really don't want as presents. First to go on the list was a revolting bathtub covered in cow skin. Well today I stumbled across something else I just had to add to the list:

BK Flame: A body spray by Burger King, which as they describe it captures "the scent of seduction, with a hint of flame broiled meat.". Puke!

That's what I'd call 'date-free deoderant' - for the man who likes to be alone. You know you've hit rock bottom when you stink so bad that smelling like a dead animal from a greasy fast food joint is an improvement! I've got to ask... Girls, do you want your boy to smell like 'flame broiled' animal flesh? I didn't think so!

Personally, the last thing I want is a constant reminder of Hungry Jack's (owned by Burger King), and the fact that the way they treat their animals stinks! Mother pigs in crates so small they can't turn around; piglets having their tales cut off without pain relief; hens in cages where they'll never be able to even stretch their wings... These are just a few of the things that come to mind when I think of Hungry Jack's and just a few of the things I don't want to be thinking about when I'm freshening up for a date.

If you agree that the way Hungry Jack's treats their animals stinks, then sign the petition calling on them to stop caging their animals. You can also print this petition out and get all your mates to sign too.

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Mad Cows or Just Mad Eating Habits?

Mad Cows or Just Mad Eating Habits?

Posted 1 April 2010   by _Matt         Permalink | 3 Comments

Tags: Mad Cow Disease, factory farming, health, environment, effluent, veg, cows, pigs, chickens, Bird Flu, Swine Flu, guest blog

So, you may have seen in the news that Australia is lifting its ban on beef imports from mad-cow countries. Let me tell you why this makes me mad:

Mad-cow disease is an illness affecting cattle - caused by feeding cows to cows. Nasty stuff!

But it gets even nastier! If humans eat this infected meat, it can cause the fatal disease, called Variant Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease (you know with a name that long it's gotta be bad!). Sure, these countries claim to have the all clear from mad-cow disease now, but any country that used to feed cows to cows doesn't sound like a smart place to import beef from (not that killing cows sounds like a good idea to begin with). Anyway, while turning cows into cannibals before eating them sounds pretty mad, we've got some home-grown nastiness to worry about - a not-so-little thing called factory farming.

Packing animals into overcrowded sheds, where they may have to live in their own filth without fresh air, natural light or exercise is bound to make them sick. So animals in factory farms are often fed a diet of antibiotics just to keep them alive long enough to be killed. The problem with this? Viruses evolve and antibiotics don't. Factory farms are the perfect breeding ground for antibiotic-resistant super bugs. That's right; diseases not even modern medicine can cure - *cough* Bird Flu *cough* Swine Flu *cough*

And while it's gross - what goes in must come out. The major problem: The huge amount of waste produced by factory farms is not treated, like human waste is. In the case of pigs, it is channelled into massive, open-air cesspits. These "lagoons" (as the industry calls them) can pollute the soil and underground water supplies, and run-off can wreak havock on local waterways - not to mention the health risks to the local community!

But, no need to worry! Like a wizard, I have the perfect solution for you! And while you're at it, you'll be helping heaps of others in a big way. What is it, I hear you chanting? What do I have to do? What must I eat? No, no, no! It's much simpler than that! It's what you don't have to eat - animals!

Not eating animals reduces your risk of getting heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. Don't eat animals - get a longer life expectancy - it's that easy! Your Mum's been telling you to eat your vegetables forever, so what better way to make her happy?

Sound good? Great! Then click here to take the pledge to be veg and give the cows one less reason to be mad ;)

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Have You Heard Our New Radio Ad?

Have You Heard Our New Radio Ad?

Posted 10 February 2010   by Jesse         Permalink | 9 Comments

Tags: advertising, radio, factory farming, pigs, chickens

Most of us grew up with songs and stories of idyllic farms where all the animals lived happy lives together. It's no wonder most people just assume that the pig on their plate or the chicken who laid the egg they're scrambling lived a happy life and was cared for before she died. But as you know, that's not how the story goes... and Animals Australia's new radio ad campaign is out to burst that bubble. So have a listen here.

We couldn't have been more thrilled with the impact of our recent TV ad campaign - Woolworths reported that sales of pig products dropped following the campaign. Finally people are realising that mother pigs in factory farms aren't 'cared for' - they're locked in barren crates where they can't turn around for months at a stretch. You could even call them battery pigs :-(

Please share this new ad campaign with all your friends. For the animals!

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New US Laws Put Australia to Shame
Posted By Ward

New US Laws Put Australia to Shame

Posted 18 October 2009   by         Permalink | 3 Comments

Tags: factory farming, pigs, chickens, dairy, bobby calves, gestation crates, battery cages, eggs, US, Australia

Wow! There was some great news for animals coming out of the US last week. I just wish I could say the same for Australia :(

Last Monday (12 October) Michigan passed a bill that will see the phase out some of the cruelest confinement methods used in the farming industry.

 Within 3 years, dairy calves in Michigan will no longer be confined in tiny veal crates and starved of iron to make their flesh pale and soft. Battery cages , used to confine egg-laying hens, and gestation crates used to confine mother pigs, will also be phased out. With these significant improvements for animals Michigan has become the 7th state to ban gestation crates, the 5th to ban veal crates and the 2nd to ban battery cages.

And the good news just keeps coming! California - who have already banned veal crates, gestation crates and battery cages have added to their list of no-nos tail docking of dairy cows. A good sign from one of the US's largest dairy states, and very good news for the 1.8million dairy cows in California!

While we're on the topic of changes for animals, the city council of Santa Monica (also in California) has voted in favour of drafting new legislation that will restrict animal 'declawing' ie. the practice of painfully removing animals claws.

Meanwhile, over the other side of the world in a little place often known as 'the lucky country', farm animals aren't so lucky. Recently The Greens in ACT (and Tas for that matter) put forward a Bill that would ban battery cages from ACT (meaning only one business would be affected) and the Liberals and Labour teamed up to shoot it down (same story in Tasmania).  With the many other parts of the world making huge advances for animals, it is disappointing that Australia is still dragging its feet.    

Well, the Aussie government may be stuck in the dark ages, but the good news is none of us need to be.

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If Eggs Came From Vending Machines...

If Eggs Came From Vending Machines...

Posted 12 October 2009   by Jesse         Permalink | 10 Comments

Tags: eggs, chickens, posters, Donn Pattendon

You may remember a couple of months ago I posted an illustration by Donn Pattendon of a dairy cow drinking Australia dry. This last week Donn sent through yet another stellar illustration and I just had to share. This time he's set his sights on battery eggs. And well it really speaks for itself...

Once again, Donn's illustration is spot on. With less than the area of an A4 piece of paper to live in battery hens really are treated like little more than vending machines. You may notice there are even a few dead male chicks swept under the machine.

I can't wait to see what Donn comes up with next!

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Exposing the Egg Industry's Dirty Secret...

Exposing the Egg Industry's Dirty Secret...

Posted 4 September 2009   by Jesse         Permalink | 20 Comments

Tags: eggs, chickens, take action, veg

There are around 14 million egg-laying hens in Australia. That's a lot of birds! ... and all of them are female. So have you ever wondered what happened to all the males?

Male chicks can't produce eggs ... so the egg industry doesn't want them. They don't grow fast or large enough to be profitable to be raised for meat, so ... what then?

Well a new investigation by US based group, Mercy for Animals exposes the dirty little secret the egg industry doesn't want you to know. Brace yourself, cause the answer isn't pretty...

You might hope that Australian standards would be better. But sadly that's not the case. Every year, the Australian egg industry grinds up alive or gasses to death an estimated 10 million male chicks. For these animals their first day in the world is also their last. They are picked up roughly by their fragile wings, tossed into disposal chutes and hauled off to their death.

Sounds more like a horror movie than reality, doesn't it. But sadly this is not only a reality, it's legal and is standard practice in Australia across all egg laying systems.

So what can you do about it? Well for starters you can cast your vote with your plate, simply don't eat eggs! And please join me in letting the Australian Egg Corporation know that you won't support their appalling disregard for animal welfare.

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Number 1 Reason Not to Eat Chicken
Posted By Ward

Number 1 Reason Not to Eat Chicken

Posted 14 August 2009   by         Permalink | 17 Comments

Tags: chickens, veg, violence, food

There are heaps of reasons not to eat chicken for your health, for the environment or for the animals. For me, the fact that chicks are forced to grow much faster than their bodies can cope, with some dying from organ failure and others starving to death, unable to lift their own body weight, was always reason enough not to eat them. But now I think this one takes the cake...

Number one reason not to eat chicken: Because your housemate might just douse you in boiling oil!

Yep, the Herald Sun has reported that a dispute over Nando's chicken has ended in a man having boiling oil poured over him in his sleep. Sure, I'd be pretty annoyed if you ate all of my delicious mock chicken, but as far as Im concerned violence has no place on or off my plate.

So anyway, what vegan treat do you find so delicious its just impossible to share?

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GRRRR to Woolworths... :(

GRRRR to Woolworths... :(

Posted 2 June 2009   by Jesse         Permalink | 11 Comments

Tags: pigs, chickens, woolworths, factory farming, New Zealand

If you've picked up a newspaper lately you may have noticed pigs have been getting a bit of attention (and I don't mean swine flu). Recent investigations in Australia and NZ have revealed just how bad factory farming can get (and as someone who's seen a lot, even I was shocked).

Mike King may be a new name to many Aussies but in NZ he's a familiar face. The NZ comedian and TV celebrity was until recently also the face of NZ Pork. That is, until he found out where NZ Pork came from factory farms. With the help of undercover investigators King saw a factory farm first hand. The footage from this investigation was aired on the NZ current affairs program Sunday, to much public outrage.

And it's no wonder people were outraged. The NZ 'codes' for pig welfare (and the Australian 'codes' for that matter) effectively make it legal for farmers to be cruel to pigs. For example, they permit sows (mother pigs) to be locked in cages called 'sow stalls' which are little bigger than their own bodies.

Meanwhile back home, an investigation into one of Woolworths' major Tasmanian pork suppliers has exposed one of Australia's worst ever cases of commercial animal cruelty. Investigators found starving sows with legs so swollen they couldn't stand to reach food or water; one mother pig had been left to die in her own waste with a shoulder wound rotting and filled with maggots. It was some of the worst footage I've seen. And this supplier, Gary Oliver, supplies roughly 20% Woolworths' Tasmanian pork!

So the big question is how did Woolworths' react? Well, it seems they've given Mr Oliver a slap on the wrist; told him to clean up his act; and now it's back to business as usual. Bit if you ask me, anyone who can leave an animal to be eaten alive by maggots should not be paid to 'look after' animals.

But the story doesn't end there. Last week one of Woolworths' major Tasmanian egg producers was also convicted of animal cruelty. On at least 2 separate visits to Sun Valley Poultry a government inspector found hens crammed into tiny cages on top of the rotting corpses of their dead cage-mates, to the extent that they could not even stand properly. The inspector found another 27 dead birds left to rot in their cages; not to mention birds covered in manure; and one dead bird being cannibalised by a distressed cage-mate.

So it seems that the 'fresh food people' need a shake up. Rotting birds in tiny wire cages and dying, maggot-infested pigs is not what I'd call a 'high standard' of animal welfare! If this sort of cruelty and neglect on factory farms makes you sick, then let Woolworths know. And if you've already written once and weren't happy with their response (I certainly wasn't!) then here's a few tips for how you might respond to their letter.

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Giving Chicks a Voice

Giving Chicks a Voice

Posted 15 April 2009   by Karen         Permalink | 12 Comments

Tags: Dolly Magazine, Advertising, Darren Cordeux, Kisschasy, Fur, The Veronicas, Chickens, Bands, Posters

If you pick up this month's Dolly magazine, you might spot a glimpse of our all-time-favourite-Kisschasy-frontman-and-hero-for-animals, Darren Cordeux. Yep. He's at it again. This time round, the outspoken rock star is giving chicks a voice in a full page ad, which begs readers to stop to think about the little guys (or, chickens), who all need our help.

Darren Cordeux's Dolly AdAnd boy don't they know it. I meanhow's THIS for a chick magnet!?

There's more to this drop dead gorgeous entertainer than you might think. You can hear what else Daz has to say in his exclusive Unleashed video.

Dolly's double page spread on page 40 also highlights the tragic cruelty of fur. Kudos to Dolly for raising such an important issue in its magazine! Animals on fur farms live lives of sheer misery, only to be drowned, gassedeven skinned alivefor their pelts. No wonder The Veronicas are so pissed about it!

Did you see the feature in this month's Dolly? Tell us what you think!

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Easter Show Hides the Truth

Easter Show Hides the Truth

Posted 9 April 2009   by Angie         Permalink | 10 Comments

Tags: Royal Show, easter, rant, pigs, chickens, cows, dairy, factory farming

So Easter is coming and I'm getting pretty excited about all the dairy-free easter eggs, hot-cross buns and faux fish I've stocked my pantry with. But one thing that does really get me worked up at Easter, as a Sydney-sider, is the Sydney Royal Easter Show! (for those of you from interstate it's the equivalent of the Melbourne Show, Brisbane Ekka, etc...)

As a child I adored the Easter Show. My Dad used to even let me have the day off school so we could beat the weekend crowds. My absolute favourite part was visiting all the farm animals. Combine this with fairy floss, roller coasters and show bags and it was truly kid-heaven.

Despite being a sensitive, animal-loving child, all the cruelty surrounding the housing, transportation and ultimate slaughter of these animals never clicked. And why would it? The show is set up in a magical, fairytale way with all of the cute animals and none of the horrors that they must endure.

First you might go to the nursery stalls where you see happy piglets, chicks and ducklings playing and snuggling up to their mothers. Then in the dairy stalls they explain the "nutritious benefits" of dairy and make the whole milking process seem totally natural. Moving onto the adult pigs, cows and chickens you stop to pat them, make a connection with them and admire their ribbons. Everything is clean, there is lots of space and the animals look healthy and well groomed.

Then in the next room, there's a diagram explaining which cut of meat comes from which part of the animal. It is here that you might feel a moment's guilt at the fact animals are slaughtered, but you think "well, they obviously have happy lives up until the end, and this nutrition panel says I need meat to be healthy... gee, I think I'll go have a dagwood dog". You then walk off, feeling on top of the world, singing "Old McDonald" in your head ... thinking everythings ok.

What they forget to mention is that baby animals are taken from their mothers in factory farms and that they have painful surgical procedures performed without aesthetic in their first fragile days of life.

Nor do they tell us that a mother cow isn't just milk making machineshe is forced to give birth every year to continue lactating, only to have her baby taken away from her and slaughtered.

Oh and of course they don't mention the fact that these animals are a tiny few of the 500 million Animals in Australia who, back on factory farms, are kept in prison-like conditions, denied freedom of movement, that would be illegal if they were a cat or a dog!

No wonder we grow up with a warped and romanticised view of the animal farm, when even as kids we have the wool pulled over our eyes at shows like these!

And don't even get me started on the utter cruelty of the rodeos, and the awful leather and skins shops.

So you won't find me at "The Greatest Show on Earth" this year. I'll be spending time celebrating a cruelty-free Easter with my family, friends and ferrets.

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Chicken Industry Says 'Go Veg'!

Chicken Industry Says 'Go Veg'!

Posted 20 January 2009   by Karen         Permalink | 8 Comments

Tags: environment, veg, chickens

Well, almost.

In a recent press release, the Australian Chicken Meat Federation made a gutsy move in admitting what we all already know: meat stinks for the environment. They say: "if we are to avoid a food and environmental crisis, we must improve the efficiency of grain use for meat production or simply eat less of all types of meat."

Perhaps they read the UN's Livestock's Long Shadow report which reveals that meat production is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than all the world's planes, trains, and automobiles combined!

Despite this momentary glimpse of clarity, ACMF attempts to suggest that the solution is not to save the planet (and our struggling health system) by adopting a healthier, vegetarian dietbut to eat more birds! Clearly one saturated-fat-laden-chicken-wing-too-many has clogged vital blood vessels to the brain of the exec who thought up that brilliant idea.

While it might be true that raising pigs, cows and sheep are even worse for the planet than chickens, the poultry industry is still responsible for massive amounts of damaging pollution that is wreaking havoc on the environment. Incidentally, a key reason for the difference between the ecological footprint of raising chickens and other animals is that Australia's meat chickens have been bred to grow so unnaturally fast that they are just 6-week-old babiesmany of which suffer heart conditions and lamenesswhen they are killed for their flesh. This cruel system is something the chicken industry likes to euphemistically call 'food conversion efficiency'.

So, as the Australian Chicken Meat Federation says, eat less of all types of meat. But really, when it's so easy to save 100 lives every year, why not dump meat all together?

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We’re supposed to let you know that the ideas expressed here are the views of the individual authors, and may not necessarily reflect the views of Animals Australia or Animals Australia Unleashed. So now you know.