This thread on the earth's chicken population is a rollercoaster

It's simultaneously not at all and very vegan friendly.

Have you ever stopped to consider just how many chickens there are in the world? And given that hens lay roughly an egg a day, how many there would be if humans stopped eating eggs?

Well, luckily, somebody else has – so prepare for a flood of semi-sarcastic tweets on the subject.

Popular tweeter @KeetPotato wondered whether, rather than an actually pretty brutal practise, all those eggs we eat are in self defence.

The thread’s author, who has more than 120,000 followers, questioned whether humans eat eggs to stop chickens from becoming the world’s superior species, rather than because they’re a good source of protein and healthy fats.

Some investigative work needed to be done, and luckily the UN had previously collected some data on the subject.

A 2011 report suggested there were 19 billion chickens on Earth, a full 12 billion more chickens than humans.

That led to @KeetPotato doing some maths of his own.

It’s a scary thought, a driveway full of chickens. But spare some sympathy for the people of Bahrain, the country with the highest chicken-to-person ratio in the world.

The Gulf country has around 40 chickens for every one person, so if humans stopped consuming their eggs, Bahrain would likely be the first to fall.

The thread ended with a tongue-in-cheek call for people to keep eating chickens, but obviously that’s not the answer.

There are only 19 billion chickens in the world because that’s the number of chickens needed to at least maintain current levels of consumption by humans.

In the world vegans want, there probably would be a lot of chickens for a while but, over time, as humans left them alone, the world’s chicken population would presumably drop back down.

In conclusion though, for as long as humans are eating meat, it’s probably a good idea to pray chickens don’t catch the revolutionary bug.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access