Written by Sally Thompson. All images ©Jo-Anne McArthur / Animal Equality Mexico.

Intensively reared chickens are housed by the tens of thousands in sheds on factory farms. Chickens can live for over six years under natural conditions. On industrial farms, they will live for approximately 45 days before being sent to slaughter. They are still babies at this point; still peeping.
 
In the United States alone, approximately 9 billion chickens are slaughtered for meat production every year, and while billions live until the kill day, millions die early from injury and the stress their bodies are forced to endure. Birds are crushed in machinery and in transport, their bodies – manipulated to grow at unnaturally fast rates – fail them when they are just weeks old.
 
In early 2018, Jo worked with Animal Equality Mexico to document the daily brutality of life and death for animals in the Mexican broiler chicken industry.

  Photo: Dulce Ramírez / Igualdad Animal Mexico

“My goal when shooting is always to represent how we keep these animals, how they live and die within our constructs and our timelines, but more specifically, to show the individuals, to give a glimpse of what their experience might be like.” – Jo
These birds are bred to produce the maximum amount of meat on the thigh and breast in the shortest time possible. The pressure this puts on their bodies causes many to suffer from heart attacks or become unable to hold their own body weight, resulting in lameness.
 
All around the world, birds raised for meat are treated as units of production. Every part of their lives is mechanized, a step on a production line.
“Experiencing first-hand the talent and sensitivity of Jo-Anne McArthur has been a truly enriching experience. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to work with her have benefited immensely from her commitment, professionalism and determination to help animals around the world.” – Dulce Ramírez, Executive Director at Igualdad Animal Mexico

Reference: HSUS – Protecting Chickens Used For Meat

Written by Sally Thompson. All images ©Jo-Anne McArthur / Animal Equality Mexico.

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