Warning: this is a pretty serious post. I can't imagine laughter when I think about this topic ... I can only imagine millions of small children crying spontaneously (the way they do on airplanes and in restaurants, only louder). Santa Claus may exploit elves, but wait until children see what the Easter Bunny supports in order to get Easter eggs.
If you haven't seen this video yet, please take the opportunity to do so.
This is footage of a modern egg hatchery, where every day, nearly 150,000 animals are conveyed alive into a grinding machine called a macerator because they are male, cannot lay eggs and are therefore worthless to the egg industry. In my observation, the average consumer is oblivious to egg production practices, but becomes disturbed when watching videos like this. This video alone already has over 2 million views, so I imagine there are a lot of disturbed people out there.
In its rebuttal, here, Hy-line asserts that maceration is acceptable because it is "supported and approved by the scientific and veterinary community."
Does the veterinary community really support grinding up live animals en masse? Does it actually approve of a practice that makes people gasp and sit in sullen post-viewing stupors? Well, in actuality, over 90% of practicing veterinarians in this country will never in their lives set foot in a commercial egg hatchery. The poultry sector has long been on its knees begging for veterinarians, and we know only a tiny fraction even become affiliated with the industry. In veterinary school curriculums, poultry medicine is a relatively brief topic and does not typically include references to production practices like debeaking, maceration, or even battery cage confinement.
So how can industry reps claim veterinary support and use it as a get out of jail free card? It's simple--the AVMA's own euthanasia guidelines do indeed list maceration as an "acceptable method of euthanasia" for "newly-hatched poultry." The guideline does not say "newly-hatched birds." After all, if a veterinarian were to put a client's baby parakeet into a macerator-type device to euthanize it, he or she would be ostracized as a probable sociopath and certainly a malpractitioner.
Industry folks have on their list of pet peeves the tendency of animal advocates to compare farm animals to companion animals "as though they're the same." Physiologically speaking, chickens have the same capacity to experience pain and suffering as parakeets; therefore industry veterinarians are making an assessment of humane treatment based solely on cultural and industry factors. That doesn't sound medical.
It's no secret that organized veterinary medicine makes different allowances for agribusiness, including in the realm of "euthanasia." One of the "advantages" of maceration listed in the AVMA's euthanasia guidlelines is that "large numbers of animals can be killed quickly." That doesn't exactly sound medical, either.