Do you eat abused chickens?


http://www.flickr.com/photos/jlastras/3456719415

Sorry to say, you probably do… after reading this, you might be compelled to go purchase your chicken from local farmers who treat the animals with compassion.

Perdue proudly displays a seal of approval from the Department of Agriculture asserting that its bird are “raised cage free.”

But, a farmer who actually raises Perdue chickens is incredulous!! “My jaw just dropped,” he said. “It couldn’t get any further from the truth.”

Here are some excerpts from this NY Times article. 

  • “Most shocking is that the bellies of nearly all the chickens have lost their feathers and are raw, angry, red flesh. The entire underside of almost every chicken is a huge, continuous bedsore.”
  • “Chickens are now bred to have huge breasts, and they often end up too heavy for their legs. Poultry Science journal has calculated that if humans grew at the same rate as modern chickens, a human would weigh 660 pounds by the age of eight weeks.”
  • “These chickens don’t run around or roost as birds normally do. They stagger a few steps, often on misshapen legs, and then collapse onto the excrement of tens of thousands of previous birds. It is laden with stinging ammonia that seems to eat away at feathers and skin.”
  • “I called Perdue to see what the company had to say. Jim Perdue declined to comment, but a company spokeswoman, Julie DeYoung, agreed that undersides of chickens shouldn’t be weeping red. She suggested that the operator was probably mismanaging the chicken house.”
  • “[The claim by Perdue] doesn’t go over well with Watts, whose family has owned the farm since the 1700s and says he has been raising chickens for Perdue since 1992, meticulously following its requirements.”
  • “The claim about the chickens being raised “cage free” is misleading because birds raised for meat are not in cages. It’s egg-laying chickens that are caged, not the ones we eat. So “cage free” is meaningful for eggs but not for chicken meat. Moreover, Perdue’s chickens are crammed so tightly in barns that they might as well be in cages. Each bird on the Watts farm gets just two-thirds of a square foot.”
  • “U.S.D.A. is the accomplice of Perdue in the fooling of consumers,” says Leah Garces, American director of Compassion in World Farming, who calls it a marketing scam.
  • Perdue may now be backing away from some of its claims. It settled a suit with the Humane Society of the United States by agreeing to remove the “humanely raised” line from some packaging, even as it denied wrongdoing.”
  • “Look for labels that say ‘certified humane,’ ‘global animal partnership,’ or ‘animal welfare approved.'”

BuzzNutrition’s two cents

Best bet is to buy your chickens from local farmers who treat their chickens well, and feed them what chickens are meant to eat!

Here is another link to a slew of comments from people on Reddit, which is “never accused of being a hippie earth mother site”

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