In 1965, the average American consumed about 34 pounds of chicken per year. In 2012, Americans ate almost two and a half times as much—more than 81 pounds per person per year.
Live fast, die young
Chickens have a lifespan of six years or more. Under intensive farming methods in the US, a chicken raised for meat will live for approximately six weeks before slaughter.
Intensive production methods typically keep meat chickens in overcrowded conditions where many of their natural behaviors cannot be expressed. Their ability to exercise, forage for food, dust-bathe, and perch is restricted. This causes chickens serious physical and psychological discomfort.
There are a number of welfare issues for meat chickens.