Factory farming truths we must know about
Reading Farmageddon, the book which tells us about the true cost of cheap meat and other unpalatable tales of factory farming and the hell that animals are flung into, so we can eat them, is crammed with scary information.
Fast-food restaurants sell us obesity as well as diseases with their tempting huge burgers from factory-farmed beef and supersize portions of chicken nuggets made from factory-farmed broilers. In 2010 the former manager of a McDonald’s outlet in Brazil was reported to have sued this fast-food giant after claiming that he had become unhealthily fat while he worked for McDonalds due to their policy of mandatory food sampling and free lunches of burgers, fries and ice cream. He was awarded $17,500.
To pamper and fill the tummies of those who buy their chicken nuggets and other chicken treats, the chicken themselves are in a perpetual hell, says this book. Chickens pay a ghastly price from leg problems to heart disease, and a nasty condition colorfully dubbed the ‘flip-over syndrome’ revealed by sudden frantic wing-flapping, shaking and loss of balance, accompanied by a shrill clucking. Within minutes they fall onto their backs or sides and die.
They are squashed into their quarters which are the size of a sheet of standard typing paper. The typical ‘grow house’ for a flock in Georgia is reported to be 15 metres wide, and 150 metres long and contains more than 30,000 chickens.
Cramped quarters and unhealthily fattened, they have leg problems, walking painfully, dragging themselves towards food and water. Some are so ill they can barely walk. An estimated 42 million chickens in Georgia every year die before they get to slaughter weight. Most of the time they spend sitting or lying down.
They are manually caught, by catchers who themselves are stressed by this ghastly exercise. They must catch and crate around 1000 birds an hour. The birds are shackled upside down by their legs. The chicken suffer hell and their catchers are no better off. They are poorly paid for their efforts. It is an all round unhappy, shocking season of terror and despair.
Welcome to your next chicken nugget treat….