It’s National Farm Animals Awareness Week!  To celebrate, we’re bringing you all the deets on why farmed animals are friends, not food.

Whether you’re a lifelong vegetarian, an out and proud vegan, or a curious omnivore it’s safe to say we can all agree that there are things that happen on factory farms that are totally unacceptable.

Chickens are the world’s most exploited land animals. In fact, more chickens are raised and killed for food than all other land animals combined. But if more people knew that chickens are complex creatures who feel pain and distress, they might think twice before eating another nugget.

Here are some incredible facts that helped us drop chickens from our diet:

  1. Chickens are incredible mothers. They talk and purr to their eggs and their chicks peep back to them from inside the eggs. Hens are loving and affectionate toward their chicks and show empathy for them as well for other hens. Haven’t you ever heard the term “mother hen?”
  2. Hens defend their young from predators. Certainly gives new meaning to calling someone a “chicken.”
  3. What’s in a name? Baby chickens are chicks. Female chickens are pullets until they’re old enough to lay eggs and become hens. Male chickens are called roosters, cocks or cockerels, depending on the country you’re in.
  4. They love looking pretty. Chickens love to dig shallow pits in the dirt, flap around and roll in the dust. If you’ve ever seen a bird taking a dust bath, you know how cute it is but it’s also functional. Dust baths help chickens insulate their feathers and keep bugs and parasites away.
  5. Chickens can distinguish between more than 100 faces. They have great memories and facial recognition skills. That means that chicken you met at the sanctuary may remember you on your next visit!
  6. Chickens can jump…and fly. You might be surprised by how athletic chickens can be. They can run up to 9 miles per hour and even fly short distances – making it over a fence or into a tree.
  7. They know who’s boss. Chickens form complex social structures known as “pecking orders,” and every chicken knows his or her place on the social ladder.
  8. Chickens have pain receptors that give them the ability to feel pain and distress.

We think that if more people knew all these amazing things about chickens, they would see them as more than just dinner.

Please share these reasons to love chickens with others and help everyone see chickens as smart, affectionate and feeling individuals who deserve to live in peace.