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Monday, May 2, 2011

Chew On This

This blog has nothing to do with the bike. It is a small persuasive paper that I wrote for school.

 Chew on this…


   Have you ever thought about the chicken you eat? Where the chicken
came from or how it was raised? You might be surprised when I tell you
they do not come from those happy little farms like you imagine. You know the ones with green grass, a small white picket fence, and a big red barn in the back ground. So the question is where does the chicken from fast food restaurants and grocery stores REALLY come from?
    All the meat chickens (broilers) start out in the hatchery. They hatch right on conveyor belts. Soon the males and females are sorted out. Males are considered worthless and thrown into a grinding machine. They are used as dog food, cat food, and as food for the female broilers.  Does that sound healthy to you? 150,000 male chicks are killed a day. The females are then de-beaked:   a laser takes off the ends of their beaks along with a lot of nerve endings that are in the beak.  They do this because the chickens are always competing to get food and water; because of that the chickens peck each other to death.
    Broiler chickens are bred to grow immensely obese in a short amount of time. It only takes 48 days until the chicken is ready for slaughter. 48 days. During that short time they suffer from heart/kidney failure and bone disease due to the speed of their growth.

All chickens naturally have salmonella, it is a type of bacteria, and it is increased when the chicken is stressed. When a chicken is stressed the salmonella has a greater risk of entering the meat, or egg. The houses that the broiler chickens live in can definitely cause stress. Thousands of broiler chicks are crowded into that chicken house, there is little space, and what space there is, is soon unavailable because the broiler chickens grow at such a rapid pace. The chicken houses are dark; loud fans buzz from the ceilings; every chicken has to fight its way through the crowd trying to get to food and water. Sometimes the salmonella consumes the chickens before they are slaughtered and then, we eat their meat.  Does this sound healthy to you? 
It may sound like I am saying the only way to stop supporting the chicken industry is to stop eating chicken; well, I am not. What I am saying is, stop eating commercially farmed chicken. Most people say, “Buy organic chicken meat, it’s much healthier than non-organic chicken meat.” Really, there is no difference between the Commercially Farmed Chicken Industry, and the Organic Commercially Farmed Chicken Industry. They are basically the same. Yes, the Organic Commercially Farmed chicken may live in Chicken houses that have windows; but, that is really the only difference.
It is different at a local organic chicken farm.  The chickens have housing that permits natural behavior; they even have access to the outdoors! The chickens at organic farms are allowed to be chickens, they are allowed to exercise, and they are allowed to be in the fresh air and sunlight just like chickens should be. Those are happy chickens, and happy chickens create good, healthy meat.
    Even though organic chickens live a more natural life, they are slaughtered the same way as the non-organic chickens. First they are hung on shackles, then they are brought to a blade that cuts their throats. Some make it through the blade barely alive; those who make it through alive drown in scalding tanks. Scalding tanks are filled up with hot water, and used to loosen the feathers on the chicken. After that, they are de-gutted, chilled in cold tanks filled with cold water, packaged and shipped off to your local grocery store or restaurant and served up in many different dishes, but now you know where it came from.
   After reading this you may want to make a difference, and stop supporting the cruel chicken industry, but how? It is simple; if you buy non-organic chicken you are supporting the chicken industry. If you buy organic chicken then you are supporting the organic chicken industry. So what do you want to spend your money on, and what is the healthiest road you want to take?