When most people think about Super Bowl Sunday, they picture sports jerseys and clever advertisements, but I don’t. Nope. I think about the more than 700 million chickens who were raised and killed for their thighs and wings.
Super Bowl Sunday is the second-largest day for U.S. food consumption after Thanksgiving. Essentially, the Super Bowl is to the food industry what Christmas is to retail. And according to the National Chicken Council's annual “Chicken Wing Report,” Americans will eat 1.35 billion wings during Super Bowl weekend. Sadly, this is up 1.5 percent, or 20 million wings, from 2017.
According to the NCC, 1.35 billion wings is enough to circle the Earth three times. It’s also enough to put 625 wings on every seat in all 32 NFL stadiums. But enough with these callous visualizations because, after all, we’re talking about chickens’ body parts.
Nearly all the chickens who will be consumed on Super Bowl Sunday are from factory farms. These intelligent and sensitive animals are subjected to cruelties few of us can even imagine, including intensive confinement, excruciating mutilations, and brutal slaughter.
Chickens raised and killed for meat are bred to grow so quickly they endure chronic, debilitating pain and frequently become immobilized under their own weight. They also suffer heart attacks, organ failure, and other problems because of rapid growth.
At the slaughterhouse, these innocent animals are violently shackled upside down, painfully shocked with electricity, and cut open at the throat—often while still conscious and able to feel pain.
Multiple undercover investigations by Mercy For Animals into Tyson Foods—the world’s largest poultry producer—have exposed horrific abuse, including sick and injured birds left to languish in filth; workers viciously punching, beating, and stabbing animals; and live, conscious birds having their heads ripped off.
Don’t believe us? See for yourself.
To make matters worse, not a single U.S. federal law protects animals during their lives at factory farms, and the law that’s supposed to protect animals at slaughterhouses, the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, doesn’t extend to birds, leaving chickens with virtually no protection from abuse.
Luckily, with a wide variety of delicious and humane meat-free options readily available, everyone can enjoy their favorite flavors without supporting animal cruelty.
So this Super Bowl Sunday, whether you're rooting for the Patriots or the Eagles, or you're just looking to spend some time with your friends and family, make sure to enjoy the big game day vegan-style.
Click here for a list of mouthwatering plant-based recipes perfect for Super Bowl Sunday!