4 min read

Inside This Trash Bag Was The Most Heartbreaking Discovery

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Gut-wrenching footage from a recent documentary shows what the egg industry thinks of as trash.

The video, from the 2015 documentary "Life According to Ohad," shows animal activists approaching the periphery of an egg factory at night. As they move toward the dumpsters, distant chirping becomes louder.

Under the cover of darkness, the garbage bin cover is lifted, and what the activists find is beyond heartbreaking.

Newly hatched chicks frantically chirp as they slowly suffocate in plastic garbage bags, surrounded by shells and dead bodies.

The activists sift through the dead bodies to find babies who are still moving. "These chicks are actually being buried alive," one person says.

The rescuers work quickly to uncover the suffocating chicks, and keep the live ones they find warm.

The death of baby chicks is an everyday part of the egg industry. The video shows standard egg industry practices, Matt Rice, director of investigations at Mercy For Animals, said. "Because they don't lay eggs or grow fast enough to be raised profitably for meat, male chicks born into the egg industry are killed as soon as they hatch – often by being ground up alive in giant macerating machines, or thrown away into dumpsters or trash bags and left to slowly suffocate," Rice told The Dodo.

In the U.S., more than 200 million male chicks are killed every single year. At Hy-Line Hatchery, the largest hatchery for egg laying breed chickens in the U.S., more than 150,000 baby birds are ground up alive every single day, Rice said, while the female chicks keep their lives but are destined to abject misery in wire cages so small they can barely move.

"There is no difference between throwing chicks into bags with piles of other dead chicks, and doing the same thing to puppies or kittens," Bruce Friedrich, director of policy and engagement at Farm Sanctuary, told The Dodo. "And yet when the egg or chicken industry treats birds like trash, that's business as usual, and it happens to hundreds of millions of animals annually."

Not a single federal law currently provides any protection to these birds at the hatchery, on the factory farm or during slaughter.

Watch the clip here: