By Karen Davis, President of United Poultry Concerns, in Today’s Los Angeles Times
4–week–old Leghorn chicks in Valley Center, CA. Los Angeles Times
To the editor:
Peter Singer and Karen Dawn suggest that chicken production may be less environmentally degrading than beef, but this claim is disputable. A study possibly
behind this assertion, by the National Academy of Sciences published in 2014, focused only on the environmental impact of feeding these animals.
(“Thinking of giving up red meat? Half measures may end up increasing animal suffering
,” Opinion, Oct. 16)
The chicken industry in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States mirrors the poultry industry’s baleful effect on the environment. More than
5,000 chicken houses hold a half a billion birds at any given time on a tiny strip of land. The 750,000 tons of waste produced annually by these captive
birds has made the poultry industry the primary polluter of the Chesapeake Bay and coastal bays of Maryland, Delaware and Virginia.
Comparing the production of chickens and cows environmentally is like comparing rotten apples and oranges: Neither is “better.”
Karen Davis, Machipongo, Va.
The writer is president of United Poultry Concerns.
For more information, see Environmental Impact of the Poultry Industry.