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International Respect for Chickens Month – May 2025

May is International Respect for Chickens Month, to remind us that we don’t have to mistreat chickens just because we think of them as food. May 4 specifically, International Respect for Chickens Day, reminds us that all creatures deserve fundamental respect, and the chicken is no exception. Now, you shouldn’t solely appreciate chickens on May 4, of course. That’s just the day set aside by United Poultry Concerns (UPC) to raise awareness of the hardship that hens face. This isn’t all about food. Chickens suffer through cockfighting, as research subjects, and through many other means. UPC created the day in 2005 as a protest against the conditions under which chickens live at industrial farms.

History of International Respect for Chickens Month

The goal of International Respect for Chickens Day is to “celebrate chickens throughout the world while protesting the bleakness of their existence in agricultural operations,” with events planned to “highlight the life and suffering of chickens and inspire sympathy for them.” United Poultry Concerns established the day in 2005. Karen Davis, the group’s founder, states that chickens should be released to their natural habitat rather than being eaten. Actor Harry Shearer, the presenter of ‘Le Show,’ former SNL cast member, and a voice actor on ‘The Simpsons’ coined the phrase “National Respect the Chicken Day” on May 14, 2000.

Chickens are the world’s most common bird species, with an estimated global population of around 25 billion. There are also a variety of breeds to choose from. The chicken is a domesticated species, mostly derived from the red junglefowl, which is endemic to Southeast Asia. A chick is a young female chicken, pullets are young female chickens close to egg-laying age — essentially teen chickens — and hens are female chickens old enough to lay eggs.

Cockerels are young male chickens, and cocks or roosters are full-grown male chickens. Grown for both meat and eggs, chickens were first domesticated in India and Southeast Asia, where they were utilized for cockfights and religious rituals, more so than for food. They first appeared on farms a few thousand years ago, though it wasn’t until the early 20th Century that they attained the prominence they now possess. It was then that eggs and meat became mass-produced commodities. High-volume poultry farms first appeared in the U.K. during the 1920s, and then in the U.S. after World War II.

International Respect for Chickens Month timeline

The Association That Protects Animals

The American Humane Association is founded to safeguard animals.

The Use of New Technology

New technology helped the industry produce chicks more effectively by allowing for better feeding and disease control, as well as enhanced production management.

The Term Respect for Chickens

Harry Shearer, the host of Le Show and a voice actor on The Simpsons, invented the phrase "National Respect the Chickens Day."

The Respect for Chickens Day

United Poultry Concerns established the holiday. Karen Davis, the group's founder, feels that chickens should be released to their natural habitat rather than being eaten.

International Respect for Chickens Month FAQs

What does it mean to treat chickens with respect?

To begin with, the simplest approach to express compassion towards hens is to stop eating them.

Why should we treat animals with kindness?

We must defend animals since they are unable to speak up and defend themselves.

Is it true that animals react to kindness?

There have been reports of animals frequently returning to their caretakers to express their thanks.

How to Observe International Respect for Chickens Month

  1. Let's talk about animal compassion

    Give a talk or post a story on social media. This will help to raise awareness about the need for treating animals with respect.

  2. Make a donation to a good cause

    Many groups in the U.S. have committed themselves to the care of chickens, and they may be in need of your support. You may either give your time or donate money to a good cause.

  3. More awareness on social media

    Raise awareness about the need for respect for chickens on social media. Share your experiences using the hashtag #RespectsForChickensMonth.

5 Facts About Cruelty To Chicken

  1. Average lifespan of a factory-farmed chicken

    The average lifespan of a factory-farmed chicken is 42 days, while chickens can survive for several years in the wild.

  2. Billions are reared for meat

    Statistics show that each year, about 60 billion chickens are farmed for meat all over the world.

  3. Certain chicken breeds are bred for meat

    They've been genetically modified to attain "slaughter weight" as quickly as possible.

  4. They live in tiny spaces

    Many meat birds live in a place little bigger than a sheet of A4 paper which is hardly room enough for them to move around by the time they are ready to be slaughtered.

  5. Most customers don’t inquire about their origin

    When ordering chicken at a fast-food restaurant, 71% of customers never inquire about its origins, according to a study that questioned 12,000 individuals.

Why International Respect for Chickens Month is Important

  1. We must raise awareness

    Many individuals continue to mistreat animals throughout the world. Our efforts to raise awareness aid in the creation of rules that penalize those who abuse animals.

  2. It helps us become better people

    Having compassion for animals just makes us better people. It demonstrates that goodness still exists in our souls.

  3. Animals have a sense of self-awareness

    Pain, sadness, and grief are all feelings that animals, like people, experience. We are aware of our misery and pain, yet we are unconcerned about the suffering of animals. Animals must be respected and treated with warmth and compassion.

International Respect for Chickens Month dates

2025May 1Thursday
2026May 1Friday
2027May 1Saturday
2028May 1Monday
2029May 1Tuesday
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