Regarding "Cluck You" by Janet Reynolds, May 17, 2001.
What a shame when the word "healthy" is just another buzzword. In the
mouth of the poultry industry, it is. The National Chicken Council
(an industry trade group) says birds going to slaughter nowadays are
the "healthiest they've ever been." In reality these birds are so
unhealthy that in 1998, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
declassified poultry diseases such as airsacculitis, whose primary
pathogen is E. coli. Why? because virtually every bird going to
slaughter is loaded with airsacculitis. Practically all the birds
would have to be condemned as inedible, and the poultry industry
would go out of business as it should. Other USDA "edible" chicken
diseases are cancer, swollen glands, infectious arthritis, and
diseases caused by intestinal worms. Scabs, pus, and bruises are
regular items in fast foods and school lunches.
As to how chickens are treated by the poultry industry, extension
specialist Michael Darre says it doesn't pay for farmers to mistreat
their animals: "You don't do these things if you want to sell."
That's basically what American slaveholders said when confronted with
their cruelty to their slaves: "Very bad policy--damages the article,
makes 'em quite unfit for service. Clear waste, sir, of a thousand
dollars" (Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, Chapter 1).
As for not enough people getting sick to prove that chickens and
other farmed animals are mistreated, in 2000, U.S. taxpayers paid
nearly $7 billion for food-borne illnesses alone-fecal illnesses
primarily derived from eating and handling chicken, eggs and other
animal products. Thousands of these illnesses go unreported each year
in the U.S., and many show up later as arthritis and other
degenerative diseases, as the disease-causing microbes frequently
migrate inside the body. In Fast Food Nation (2001), Eric Schlosser
writes, "The current high levels of ground beef contamination,
combined with the even higher levels of poultry contamination, have
led to some bizarre findings." Microbiological tests conducted at the
University of Arizona found "far more fecal bacteria in the average
American kitchen sink than on the average American toilet seat" (p.
Hopefully, "Cluck You" will cause many readers to become vegetarians.
Thank you very much.
Karen Davis, PhD
United Poultry Concerns, Inc.
PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405-0150
(UPC Letter Re: "Cluck You" by Janet Reynolds)