Here are my personal feelings, as well as hopefully useful information for others on this topic. I realize this thread would fit well in the Meat Chickens section, but I'm posting here instead so people who avoid that section because of sometimes graphic descriptions (which Im not putting in this post itself) can read it, too, since I think many would be interested. I am not a vegetarian but try to minimize eating any chicken meat other than from our own chickens. I also try to buy pet food with as little chicken meat in it as possible. Main reasons: 1. I am opposed to the cruelties endured by chickens kept in battery cages for egg-laying, and I believe their meat is what is usually used for chicken ingredients in pet food, so buying it supports that. 2. I am opposed to the accelerated growth genetics often used in chickens raised commercially for meat. They often cause the chickens to get painful physical conditions such as leg deformities or heart attacks. 3. But very most of all, the reason that I try to avoid eating meat from commercially raised chickens is because of INEXCUSABLY CRUEL KILLING & SLAUGHTERING METHODS used for chickens in the vast majority of U.S. processing plants. I will not go into detail here, but those who are unaware of these methods, if you can bear reading about them you can do so here: edited for content 2. No PETA or Cock fighting posts, period! http://www.helium.com/knowledge/112203-the-case-for-controlled-atmosphere-killing-for-chickens There is a very humane and economically profitable alternative method available, controlled-atmosphere killing (which I presume is more reliably humane than the controlled-atmosphere stunning method also available), whereby chickens are killed by inert gases that do not cause distress, and then the chickens are processed. A quote from one of the above articles: Controlled-atmosphere killing is currently used on about 75 percent of turkeys and 25 percent of chickens in the United Kingdom, and on 10 percent of poultry in the European Union. The United States lags far behind in using this USDA-approved more humane method, although there are now two American CAK slaughterhouses for turkeys and chickens. Factory farming has become a megalithic monster. A number of animal advocacy groups believe that anything that can relieve the distress of factory-farmed chickens in the short term is a good thing. Becoming vegetarian or vegan or eating only compassionately raised chickens are the most humane actions people can take to relieve animal suffering. But supporting controlled-atmosphere killing is one way to reduce the suffering of chickens while remaining a meat eater. I support commercial industry reforms, which chicken-lovers can champion to help vast numbers of chickens have more happy lives and deaths. And I am grateful that so many of us also have means for providing a happy life, and a humane death for our personally owned chicken friends, who I believe go on to another beautiful life after this one.