Poor chickens. They don't get six million ways to die. They get, basically, two. Both of which are bad. And more chickens than you might think get the worst one: boiling alive.

You, the "ethical" and kindhearted chicken-eater might ask yourself: Why are we boiling chickens alive, for crying out loud? Seems kinda mean. Well, as Kimberly Kindy reports in the Washington Post today, chickens in slaughterhouses are supposed to be killed in a "humane" way, by having their throats cut, before they go into the hot boiling water cauldron of death. But:

USDA inspectors assigned to the plants say much of the cruel treatment they witness is tied to the rapid pace at which employees work, flipping live birds upside down and shackling their legs. If the birds are not properly secured, they might elude the automated blade and remain alive when they enter the scalder.

Now, our nation's Department of Agriculture—whose business-friendly attitude has brought you such hits as "More Poop in Your Pork"—is preparing to allow poultry plants to run their chicken conveyor belts even faster, which will likely cause even more chickens to die this way. (The WaPo says a million chickens and turkeys per year currently die of scalding like this.)

America's chickens urge you to become a vegetarian.

[Photo: Flickr]