Disturbing Headless Chicken Solution Aims to Raise Poultry Birds Without Suffering

by , 02/24/12

Humanitarian meat, Chicken Matrix, Royal Acadamy of Art, Headless Chicken Solution, André Ford , headless chicken, conscientious eating,

Ford’s proposal involves surgically removing the animal’s cerebral cortex but maintaining the lower brain functions so the body can continue to grow. Without the capacity to sense the environment the bird is arguably not in a state of suffering, which is a far cry from current farming practices.

The other effect is that the birds can be packed into a much more horizontal space in just about any type of building upping the productivity from 1 chicken per 10 cubic feet to nearly 4 chickens in the same area. Ford’s plan calls for removing the birds’ feet as well to make space. The design seems to make it easier to raise meat in urban environments, localising chicken farming.

The animal is fed water and nutrients though a tube to its esophagus and another tube removes the waste. The body is then strapped into a frame which can stack the bodies vertically. The design is vastly different from what we have ever seen outside of the movie The Matrix, a fact that Ford alludes too– “The similarities are patent, although in The Matrix the dominant species were kind enough to provide the sub-species with a alternate reality, which was far better than the their ‘real’ post-apocalyptic world. This was a lovely gesture by ‘The Machines’, but the chickens in this system will not be privy to such a luxurious appendage to an already elaborate system, especially in this age of austerity.”

We have to say that while we appreciate Ford’s out-of-the-box approach to trying to make raising poultry-birds a bit more humane, it can be argued that lobotomizing them in itself is a cruel and inhumane act. Ford’s ultimate goal behind this project may be for us to reconsider the way we approach the industrialization of animals for food and by taking it to its logical conclusion have us think before we take a bite.

+ Royal Collage of Art

Via We Make Money Not Art


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  1. lsteil October 2, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    Wow. Just. Wow. I am impressed with such this version of sociopathy at it’s finest.

    This is what the worlds minds are currently pondering?

    O. M. G.

    What a MONSTER.

  2. Amano Khambata September 10, 2014 at 11:05 am

    This is a sick solution in a sick world . Free range chickens and eggs should be the only allowed way of breeding birds for consumption . Planet over profit needs to be the priority along with the humane treatment of animals not some warped approach like this one . I trust there is sme dark humor at play. Would an enforced vegetarianism be an infringement of freedom ? And a world without borders functioning on Green parameters while protecting biodiversity and repairing the damaged environment be the truest way to live ? Welcome to an environmental friendly socialist world order. If there is to be a future at all for humanity then it’s time to embrace my postcard from a feasible future .

  3. Cara Spring September 10, 2014 at 12:29 am

    If this ever becomes a reality, I will become a vegetarian. No way I could eat meat and be okay with this. I already can hardly handle the way they are mistreated, but this would be just creepy

  4. Sreekumar Pillai September 9, 2014 at 11:51 pm

    Why should humans grow in population so much? Just to enjoy sex we mate and human kids are just accidental outcomes. Instead of creating horror like this isn\\\’t it ethical to get sterilized ourselves and then enjoy sex as much as we like without increasing human population. Why should we breed in such huge numbers and then create a hell in this world where we live in?

  5. Michael Fisher August 30, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Anybody else thinking of the Chickienobs from Oryx & Crake (by Margaret Atwood)?

  6. 南 大沢 June 9, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    It’s only a concept design from a student.
    It seems that the efficiency of this equipment is worse than the present system.
    To measure against starvation, you should eat grain from chicken.

  7. draftycranium March 11, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    Thanks for bringing this to Inhabit’s readers. I have had some discussion about it since I saw this, and we think things are progressing in the ‘other’ direction. This also resembles the blood farm for vampires in “Blade 2″ with the abducted humans kept comatose and fed nutrients and slowly milked. According to many who commented on an earlier article on the concept, these ideas do not present a problem. Becoming aware of the spiritual and moral zombification of a hefty chuck of society is certainly an eye opener.

  8. arbin March 8, 2012 at 3:36 am

    I’m not sure if we humans end up eating something not naturally grown chickens. We might become mutants in the near future. :)

  9. Andrew Michler February 24, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    With all due respect @ad.pck your visceral response should be aimed at the farming industry which subjects animal to much worse. To me this is a powerful piece of art/design which cut to a core question of how we want to feed billions of people and the dilemma of providing cheap protein while grappling with our conscience and the conscience of other life forms. I for one do and will continue to eat meat but will be more aware of it as a result of this project.

  10. ade.pck February 24, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Am I falling for a joke? Is it April Fools’ too early?

    Let’s see: We’ll hatch chickens (a real animal, despite how this ‘design’ and our culture would like to completely objectify them), lobotomize them, mutilate their subsequent physical shells by way of docking their feet, use a bevy of manufactured synthetic materials to nourish them / sluice away their waste, stack them as if they were dry goods, and let them develop. Then we ingest this creation that exists because of a design student’s idea of good intent.

    Or – we don’t eat chicken.

    Am I so far removed from the brutishness of society to think that this is a long, dare I say, demented process for us to eat some chicken?

    Which is actually better for the environment and our collective health?

    This project is shortsighted, warped, and disgusting. It revolts me as a human, a designer, one who is concerned about what they eat, and one who is concerned about the earth. The student and the Royal College of Art should be ashamed of themselves. Let the student, while in school, do what he wants / needs to in order to learn. But spare pretense of an innovative, altruistic, good idea.

  11. quinny February 24, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Inhumane indeed. How are they lobotomised?

    My girlfriend and I eat meat, 2 to 3 times a week. Eggs too (more often).

    We always go out of our way to buy meat and eggs from ‘free range’ animals. Even if the ‘normal’ meat is half the price. If I eat an animal, I want to be sure it has had a good life…

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