Vegan activist group Mercy for Animals (MFA) released a video yesterday (viewer discretion advised) showing a behind-the-scenes look at an egg hatchery in Iowa. Among other things, the video shows male chicks being euthanized. The group claimed that 200 million male chicks are killed in such a manner every year, and accompanied its video with the usual vegan evangelism.
The owner of the hatchery is now doing a full-fledged investigation into the situation, and the owner says the video “appears to show an inappropriate action and violation of our animal welfare policies.” If MFA had released the video sooner—we would suggest immediately—the conditions could have been addressed sooner.
MFA made the film back in late May and early June. So why did MFA sit on the video until almost September? Judging from the press blitz, it appears that the release of the video was well-planned.
This reminds us of a similar situation in 2007 with the Humane Society for the United States (HSUS). HSUS produced a video of improper animal handling and sat on it for months, even refusing to share it with the U.S. Department of Agriculture or a District Attorney who was investigating. Ultimately, HSUS chose to release its video footage at a more politically opportune time, as it prepared to launch a livestock-related ballot campaign in California. When Congress asked about the holdup, HSUS was less than truthful. Meanwhile, meat from the slaughterhouse continued to flow into the U.S. food supply for months.
In response to the coordinated vegan preaching from MFA, an egg industry spokesperson cut right through the noise with his response:

There is, unfortunately, no way to breed eggs that only produce female hens. If someone has a need for 200 million male chicks, we’re happy to provide them to anyone who wants them. But we can find no market, no need.

If these vegan activists care so much about animals, they ought to be running an adopt-a-chicken campaign. Since Mercy for Animals wants to stop animal suffering, and they now have the opportunity to do so, will they follow through? We doubt it.
The animal rights movement, including less known groups like MFA and 9-figured giants like HSUS, all want the same thing. They don’t want eggs (or chickens) to be consumed, period. And they’ll use the press as best they can to push their egg-free, meatless, dairy-free lifestyle.
Since we raised the idea, what would happen if MFA actually did adopt lots of abandoned male chicks? Chances are they’d behave like the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, meaning that all the unwanted chickens would be put down anyway, just not as quickly as in the hatchery. It’s not like the vegans would advocate doing something useful with these chickens—like feeding the hungry.
In the meantime, we’ll be waiting to see those adoption papers.