Winter-Spring 2010 Poultry Press NEXT
Choice Magazine Recommends Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs

“Riveting . . . brilliant . . . noteworthy for its breadth and depth.”

“Animal rights activist Karen Davis’s ultimate intention is to sell ethical veganism and have her readers believe that groups like her own hold the blueprint for a better world. Her reporting of the modern poultry industry is riveting, the writing is brilliant, her empathy with helpless little chicks that will never see a mother will move like-minded individuals to tears, and the research for the book is noteworthy for its breadth and depth. . . . She illuminates the ugly, the brutal, and the robotically efficient, the greed of heartless owners, and the callousness of workers in this machinery of exploitation and extermination. Recommended.” - Choice magazine, publication of the Association of Colleges and Research Libraries of the American Library Association, August 2009, Vol. 46, No. 11.

Arsenic, Feed Ingredients and Manure. From Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs, pp. 105-108:

Farm animal waste is fed to farmed animals. The rendering business manufactures pet food and livestock and poultry feed, recycling infective material through farmed animals - ground-up brains, bones, eyeballs, spinal cords, stomachs, and intestines. Animals raised for human consumption are fed the most inferior ingredients of all. Each year, American Proteins, Inc., in Hanceville, Alabama - the largest poultry-product rendering facility in the world - converts 1.9 billion pounds of inedible poultry into 0.6 million pounds of feather meal, fat, and poultry byproduct meal for the animal food industries. . . .

Photo: David Harp
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Feed-grade products are a primary source of Salmonella, avian influenza, and other diseases in poultry. Poultry litter, which starts out as wood shavings spread on the floors of chicken and turkey houses, is used as a feed ingredient after it has become “nine parts manure” deposited by tens of thousands of birds raised successively in a single house. Only about every two or three years do U.S. chicken houses get a “total crustout,” in which the manure-soaked litter is removed down to the bare floor. Three houses alone fill 35 tractor trailers with 1.4 million pounds of waste. Poultry litter has been found to be “rich in genes called integrons, which promote the spread and persistence of clusters of varied antibiotic-resistant genes.”

Poultry feed also contains powerful insecticides such as Larvadex. It includes organic arsenic compounds such as roxarsone, widely used since the 1960s to control parasites and promote weight gain and blood vessel growth for heavier, pinker chicken flesh. U.S. chicken producers use a total of 2.2 million pounds of roxarsone each year, more than 95 percent of which is excreted unchanged in chicken waste. The waste in the form of used chicken litter goes into fertilizer, soil, and waterways. . . .


The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports, “Arsenic concentrations in young chickens are three times greater than in other meat and poultry products.” At average levels of chicken consumption - two ounces a day or the equivalent of one-third to one-half of a boneless chicken breast - “people ingest 3.6 to 5.2 micrograms of inorganic arsenic, the most toxic form of the element.” People who eat more chicken may ingest 10 times that amount of arsenic, which can cause bladder, respiratory, and skin cancers from a daily intake of 10 to 40 micrograms of arsenic.

All information in Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs: An Inside Look at the Modern Poultry Industry (2009) is fully documented. Order a copy of this informative book for yourself and donate a copy to your local library. $14.95 includes shipping. 40% off bulk orders of 5 ($8.97 each) = $44.85 for 5.     

Winter-Spring 2010 Poultry Press NEXT