News Senior Editors, All Things Considered, NPR
Thank you very much for your segment that aired on January 8th, "The Chicken Catchers' Complaint." Chicken catchers have a terrible job. Their complaints against the poultry integrators are justified, but nobody has it worse than the chickens. Thank you for noting that the birds are artificially forced to grow so big so fast that their internal organs cannot accommodate the unnatural growth rate. Thank you for pointing out that the chicken houses are permeated with nauseous excretory ammonia gases. The birds eaten by meateaters spent their lives in this toxic waste environment.. Many go to slaughter blind as a result of the painful keratoconjunctivitis they develop, called "ammonia burn." The ammonia also causes chronic respiratory diseases in the chickens because it destroys the cilia and other defense mechanisms of the upper respiratory tract in birds as in people. Virtually all chickens slaughtered for the table suffered from respiratory diseases, particularly airsacculitis--an E. coli infection.
I hope you will continue to produce informative programs about the poultry industry. However, could you please show empathy for the birds? The birds are sick and miserable. They are traumatized, bashed into crates, their wings get broken, their legs get pulled from the sockets in the process, and much more. They are wounded, they are suffering, and they are in great pain.
A show entitled "All Things Considered" cannot logically exclude from its consideration the 35 million chickens being slaughtered every day in the U.S. There is much available scientific information on the subjectivity of chickens, more than enough to address the issue of their experience and treatment intelligently and intelligibly. I urge you to include chickens among "all things considered."
Thank you for your attention. Karen Davis, PhD, author of Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs: An Inside Look at the Modern Poultry Industry (The Book Publishing Company. 1-800-695-2241. ISBN: 1-57067-032-3).