Chipotle already works with Compassion in World Farming USA and The Humane Society of the United States to ensure humane farming practices, but they recently announced specific advances toward chicken welfare. This might ease some speculations as to what their promise "Food with Integrity" truly means.

Based on Global Animal Partnership standards, broiler chickens (those bred for meat consumption) will be raised in more humane conditions in four main areas: breeding, space, living conditions, and slaughter.

chicken, meat
Amanda Shulman

It's important to know why these standards are so important as well as the inhumane conditions that animal activist groups like CIWF, PETA and vegans are working to change in the food industry.

For example, many breeders inject their broilers with fast-growing hormones and chemicals, speeding up natural development in order for them to be slaughtered faster. It's common in some cases for these chickens to develop deformed.

Breeders and farmers may also try to cut costs by packing them into unrealistically tight spaces, in factory environments that in no way replicates their natural habitat (or cute animal farm seen in children's books).

And when it's time to be slaughtered, some suppliers leave the chickens conscious throughout a nightmarish, multi-step process.

vegetable, soup, gastronomy
Becky Hughes

By 2024 Chipotle expects to commit fully to living up to their new breeding, stocking, environmental, and slaughtering standards for chickens.

Despite health concerns surrounding the company, I truly believe that Chipotle is dedicated to improving their overall food quality. I hope that these steps toward animal welfare inspire others in the food industry to do the same. 

As Matthew Prescott (Humane Society of the U.S. Senior Food Policy Director) proclaims, “This is one more step forward for Chipotle, and one giant leap for chickens."