Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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No-Brainer Chicken

Lobotomize chicks at birth for cruelty-free meat production
(+6, -6)
  [vote for,

Chickens don't need higher brain functions to digest food and fatten up, but higher brain functions allow them to feel pain and stress. So, develop a procedure to lobotomize chicks at birth so that their autonomic nervous system remains intact and they can breathe, beat their hearts, regulate body temperature and digest food, but can't feel, see, hear, or think.

These "No-Brainer Chickens" would have the same ability to feel and think as vegetables, and would be in most senses already dead, so they'd be treated as such. They could be raised in the most intolerable conditions to save money: tiny cages, feed tubes, bindings. They could be pre-plucked or pre-marinated and shipped live right to the supermarket for fresher, better tasting meat. If the right hormones were applied you could have no-brainer eggs as well.

The birth and lobotomy process is still a cruel one, so the next step would be to breed and genetically engineer chickens so they could be born without any higher brain functions. The biggest hurdle will be to educate people that without any higher brain functions these animals are essentially vegetables, but with a good ad campaign and witty name (heh) no-brainer animals could provide a less cruel and more efficient alternative to all meat production.

skatc, Nov 15 2008

Mike the Headless Chicken http://en.wikipedia...he_Headless_Chicken
[Spacecoyote, Nov 16 2008]

Mmmmmm....In Vitro Meat http://en.wikipedia.../wiki/In_vitro_meat
Love the name, similar concept - kind of creepy [zen_tom, Nov 17 2008]


       Works for politicians, why not chickens too ?
8th of 7, Nov 15 2008

       Given that one human eats many chickens in their lifetime, surely more efficient to lobotomize the people so they don't feel anguish?
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 15 2008

       Everybody look at [MaxwellBuchanan]'s anno and... No let's not do that again.   

       Why is it that such a good idea as this gets so many fishbones? Because it's just wrong and bad.   

       I wonder how many fishbones an idea would get describing what we do to chickens now, in the chicken meat industry. More I think, much more. It could be apllied to other animals in the food industry and maybe some lab animals too.   

       But yes, fishbone.
zeno, Nov 16 2008

       It's a cruel world [+] Also do pigs, cows, sheep etc
Mony a Mickle, Nov 16 2008

       I thought lobotimized chicken is called turkey. Anything that will drown in the rain surely feels no pain.
MisterQED, Nov 16 2008

       Whereas the human essence is complicated by the ability to manipulate symbols and therefore undergo personal growth and experience intersubjectivity to varying degrees, the same is less the case for chicken. Consequently, there's no significant difference between decerebrating a chick and doing the same to an adult chicken. Therefore, there's no point in doing this.   

       Moreover, this is not a new idea. Though it may have been an urban myth, there was a rumour doing the rounds a few years ago that McDonald's were trying to breed a headless (animal without a generic name in English well-known for the male's horns and the female's widely used milk). This may not have been true but the idea existed, even if only in the minds of the likes of us people being sued for libel by the aforesaid TNC.
nineteenthly, Nov 16 2008

       A bun for you sir! Thank you for an idea that may one day remove much pain from the world. And a headless cow would be equally brilliant!
Voice, Nov 16 2008

       Hmm. There seem to be two main issues tied up in meat production - conditions brought on by industrialisation, and the question of whether it's fair to kill and eat animals at all.   

       I don't see how this idea addresses either - although, other's have thought this way, see link to 'In Vitro Meat' - true industrialised protein production, in a jar.
zen_tom, Nov 17 2008


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