Perdue and Systematic Cruetly to Chickens

You need to be heartless to be a factory farmer, but if you do begin to see and acknowledge the suffering around you, what do you do?

This farmer was prompted to speak out after hearing Joe Perdue’s agrispin in a promotional video, saying “Doing the right thing is things like treating your chickens humanely.” This is a standard platitude for the meat industry, which appropriates the language of animal welfare for self-promotion and profit. In fact, the Perdue family has a long history of animal abuse and run-ins with animal advocates, along with their “pile of poultry puffery hiding the brutal realities of an inhumane industry.”[1]Henry Spira took them to task back in the 70s for this, see http://www.upc-online.org/henry_tribute.html..

The farmer, Craig Watts had just had enough. So he called in animal advocates to take a look at his factory farm and a farming system he believes has gone wrong. In his opinion, we just need to start over.

It was a gutsy move and got exposure in a New York Times article by Nicholas Kristof about the abuse of chickens on factory farms.[2]”Abusing Chickens We Eat,” New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/04/opinion/nicholas-kristof-abusing-chickens-we-eat.html.

No other factory farmers speak out like this, and the systematic abuse of these Frankenbirds continues in the billions. As Kristof points out:

Torture a single chicken and you risk arrest. Abuse hundreds of thousands of chickens for their entire lives? That’s agribusiness.

Sadly, Kristof, like probably 99% of people who read his articles keep supporting the abuse. That’s a lot of hypocrites.

All this leaves millions of Americans, me included, in a bind. We eat meat, yet we want to minimize cruelty to animals. This is an uncertain, inconsistent and perhaps hypocritical path, and it’s hard enough without giant food companies manipulating us — in collusion with our own government.

What bind? Excuse me, Kristof, but your money gives your blessing and support for the abuse to continue and agribusinesses to prosper. Just boycott, stop giving money to the industry. It’s that simple.

You and many skeptics and progressives out there are indeed “inconsistent and hypocritical”—and there’s no “perhaps” about it—you just are. No company or government is forcing abused chicken down your throat.

Notes   [ + ]

1. Henry Spira took them to task back in the 70s for this, see http://www.upc-online.org/henry_tribute.html.
2. ”Abusing Chickens We Eat,” New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/04/opinion/nicholas-kristof-abusing-chickens-we-eat.html.

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