Agri-business News Chicken

Published on February 9th, 2012 | by Jessi Stafford

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How Clean Is Your Chicken?

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chicken farming

Gross. One more knock against the chicken industry, it came out in Meatingplace magazine that 80 percent of poultry growers NEVER sanitize their crates. Ever.

First, I take issue with the fancy wordplay calling those who pump millions of chickens through the factory farm system “poultry growers,” though that’s a common PR move. Those are live chickens, not crops.

Back to cleaning crates. Imagine the carrier you use to transport your dog to and from the vet. Then imagine never, ever washing it. Not after he uses the bathroom, not after he vomits a little antibiotic, not after he gets muddy from playing at the dog park. Never. Oh and imagine your dog never leaves his crate for his entire life. Then multiply that by 9 billion.

“The [poultry] industry raises 9 billion birds in sheds the size of 1.5 football fields (about 450 feet) lengthwise and 40 feet wide. These factory-style facilities hold as many as 20,000 chickens, with enough space to offer each about a letter-size piece of paper’s worth by the time they reach market size. Naturally, such conditions—along with the industry’s zeal to get birds to fatten as quickly as possible—leads to all manner of injury and disease.” – Mother Jones, from the Humane Society of the United States

But there’s a little more at stake than just EXTREMELY dirty birds. Let’s factor in, on top of the birds who’ve been rolling around in their own fecal matter, inducing a high probability for the spread of salmonella and ecoli, these birds, because of their horrifically terrible living conditions, are pumped full of antibiotics in order to keep them alive just long enough to kill them, and to make sure they are plump enough to appease America’s appetite. So all this bacteria floating around is a perfect experiment to see just how long it might take for them to become resistant to antibiotics.

Basically, these are some prime situations for humans to get sick, but not be able to be treated for any illness which may occur. And millions of birds have to suffer in the process.

Bon appetit!

How about an alternative?

Image Credit: Creative Commons user nist6ss

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About the Author

Social media strategist and writer. Passionate about food policy, education and women's issues. Has written for Vegan Mainstream, The Next Great Generation, Dig Magazine (Baton Rouge), BlogCritics , and occasionally for Vegansaurus . Will accept payments in coffee and/or tofu scramble upon request. Graduate of the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Journalism.



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