Chicken meat is perhaps the most accessible and cheapest meat available in the market. Chicken is eaten when you are on a diet, you can have it in your sandwich for breakfast, you can roast it for dinner or you can have it as a healthy salad.
But these days, following broiler chicken side effects have been observed:
- Food poisoning
- Carcinogens in grilled chicken
- Traces of arsenic or antibiotic use in broiler chickens
Inhuman process of slaughtering the broiler chickens
Baby chickens who are still chirping and have baby blue eyes – these chicks are hatched and put into colossal sheds that can hold 40,000 – 60,000 chickens per shed. These chicks are then left on their own for the next 5-7 weeks of their lives, or we may say “the only 5-7 weeks of their lives”. As the chickens grow, there is less room for each chicken and gradually these chickens get trapped in their own waste. Many of these chickens die a slow and painful death due to respiratory disorders resulting from constantly breathing in toxic air from a filthy shed. “Ammonia burn” is a common ailment caused in broiler chickens due to exposure to high concentrations of ammonia emanating from large accumulations of feces.
Broiler chickens are selectively bred over in order to grow massively large in a short span of time. Because of these fast growth rates, many chickens become crippled as their bodies become too large for their legs to carry. They are not able to get up and eat or drink and some of them gradually starve to death. After approximately six weeks, these helpless chickens are taken by “catchers” who arrive in the dark, grab terrified chickens by their feet and stuff them into crates which are then loaded onto transport trucks with forklifts.
In this inhuman process, they suffer from broken legs and wings, lacerations, haemorrhage, dehydration, heat stroke, hypothermia, and heart failure. Millions of chickens die before even reaching the slaughterhouse.
At the slaughterhouse, chickens are shackled and dragged upside down, fully conscious, through electrified water that paralyzes their muscles so that their feathers will come off more easily after they are dead. Trillions of chickens are scalded alive after their throats are cut. In the scald tank, the chickens scream, kick, and their eyeballs pop out of their heads. A majority of these broiler chickens go to slaughter lame, sick, and in pain. They are infected with Salmonella, Campylobacter, E coli, and other bacteria that make people sick with food-borne poisons. Because of the unhygienic conditions in which they are raised, slaughtered chickens are soaked from top to toe in toxic chemicals which are in turn consumed by us along with their flesh. Thus, broiler chicken side effects causes a lot of health problems.
Adverse broiler chicken side effects:
What makes broiler chickens highly susceptible to contamination is the barbaric process they go through before they get to the stores you buy them at. The carcass of the bird you buy is exposed to juices and drippings from all the birds that were rinsed in the cold water tank after they were slaughtered. So even if that particular bird was not infested with germs or harmful bacteria, it is very much possible that it will pick up some germs during this dunk in the tank!
To make things worse, there is this issue of antibiotic resistance. Because broiler chickens are bred in such diabolical conditions and are often low on immunity, they are given a large number of antibiotics to maintain the health of the bird and prevent the outbreak of epidemics. This has led to an increase of antibiotic-resistant strains of various kinds of bacteria.
When you eat broiler chickens, antibiotics and other growth hormones which are injected into the birds could possibly enter your bodies too. The worrisome fact is that antibiotics used in poultry are the same as the ones used for humans. If you get infected with Salmonella, a doctor would subscribe drugs like Ceftriaxone or Ciprofloxacin. Unfortunately, various strains of this deadly virus are now showing resistance to these medicines due to the high levels of antibiotic use in poultry farming. So, if you end up with food poisoning, it is even riskier since it won’t respond to medicines that are normally used to treat it.
What about the inedible parts of the chicken that we throw away or bury in the ground? Resistant strains from the feathers and bones are now transferred to soil, ground water, ponds and streams. In effect, the microbes become resistant to a wide range of antibiotics.
Consuming a diet that’s very high on animal protein could increase the risk of cancer. Because chicken is cooked at high temperatures, it forms carcinogenic compounds that increase the risk of cancer in your body. Grilling or frying chicken increases the levels of these carcinogens, making it worse than most other meats when it comes to HCAs. So by frying your chicken, you could increase the risk of cancer, among other harmful conditions.
Arsenic is increasingly added to broiler chickens, mainly to guard against diarrhea, improve pigmentation, and ensure good growth of the chickens. However arsenic exposure could cause the following problems:
- Increased risk of heart disease
- Neurological problems
Is broiler chicken really healthy?
Keeping in mind all the above health problems associated with broiler chickens, it is high time that we revisit the million-dollar question – How healthy eating chicken really is?