When I go to the supermarket for chicken, I choose the chicken breasts with the most meat or with the lower price. I don’t pay attention to labels indicating “farm fresh”, “free range” or “organic” on my produce. My main goal is to get more food for a bargain. After reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, I may now prefer organic food versus the cheapest one. Immanuel Kant also describes-Duties towards animals and spirits (p. 239), where he believes one can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of his animals. I can correlate this key point with the turkey farmer in Eating Animals because he is the Last Poultry Farmer. You can say he raises the “Cadillac” of turkeys by not cutting off anything, not vaccinating, no antibiotics given to his birds. His turkeys exercise all day and have naturally strong immune systems. His turkeys don’t get sick or die frequently like other farm raised animals. He doesn’t have extra security for outsiders trying to discover inhumane practices of animals. He does not mutilate them, manipulate the lighting and transports them at night when they’re calmer. He specifically has a certain number of turkeys in the trailer and they’re held upright, not hung by their feet. At his processing plant they are removed off the trailer safely, which costs him twice as much for him to slow down the process and have them processed one by one by hand. He believes an animal should not suffer as they too have a life like humans. He understands we have to kill animals to eat, but the process shouldn’t make the animals suffer by living in their feces for more than six weeks, no sunlight, over-crowding, their nails curled around their cages, or feeling their slaughters. He truly cares about his animals which shows he cares about others by doing what is right. He’s only trying to convince people to live by what is right. I think if we all knew how our food was processed, we would think twice what we feed our families. I wished all our food was processed like this turkey farmer, however our society demands low-priced food and high-quantity at all times.
I love all foods, meat, seafood, poultry, and vegetables. However, I now care where my food comes from and how it can affect my family and I’s health in the future if the cheaper poultry has been injected with steroids or raised in a “farm”. I also believe our food has a great impact on how our health decreases over time from all the different types of injections the animals receive and from their living conditions. Foer states organic means-raised on organic feed (crops raised without most synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, to be traced through their life cycle (paper trail), not be fed antibiotics or growth hormones, and have access to outdoors.
I was stunned to know how a modern day farm operates. The farmer will house chickens in an area with no windows for sunlight because they control the light for production. Light manipulation allows them to produce more eggs throughout the year instead of only in the spring. Next, they are hauled to the processing plant with no food or water. They are shackled by their feet and hung upside down and the conveyor systems runs them through an electric bath. Some birds are not dead immediately, and someone has to slit their throat. After the heads and feet are removed, a machine rips them open to remove it’s guts, releasing feces into the birds cavity. A USDA inspectors examines a bird in TWO seconds inside and out, both carcass and other organs for different diseases and abnormalities. The inspector looks at 25,000 birds per day. Journalist Scott Bronstein wrote a remarkable series for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about poultry inspection. He interviewed nearly a hundred USDA poultry inspectors from thirty-seven plants-
“Every week, millions of chickens leaking yellow pus, stained by green feces, contaminated by harmful bacteria, or marred by lung and heart infections, cancerous tumors, or skin conditions are shipped for sale to consumers.”
More from the article by Bronstein:Playing Chicken on food safety:
The government has had plenty of time to decide whether to require training for plant employees; the 2001 audit recommended it to ensure “that plant personnel are as competent as federal inspectors.”
The agency hasn’t heeded the advice. “It would [be] appropriate for the establishment to determine the type of training its employees need,” FSIS says.
Other countries with similar inspection programs keep their meat or poultry plants on a shorter leash:
– In New Zealand, the USDA requires that company workers receive training equivalent to that of a U.S. federal inspector — a much higher standard than it is proposing here — if the plant exports meat to the U.S.
– Employees at Australian plants that export meat must undergo about 500 hours of training to inspect meat.
– In Canada, the government trains plant workers for two months before they may inspect poultry.
There is only artificial light, no fresh air, and huge fans circulate the stale ammonia filled air. Chicken meat is perfect for our fast food culture. A producer can ‘grow’ a chicken within a few weeks with super large breasts, and minimizing overheads through economies of scale (a.k.a. animal abuse) and remitting very poor wages to his/her unskilled employees. Article: Playing Chicken on Food Safety
Next, the chickens go through a refrigerated tank to be cooled. These water tanks care called “fecal soup” by immersing clean and dirty birds in the same tank, which equals cross-contamination.
From the beginning most farms treat their chickens far from regular animals and more high-profit, high-quantity product. This is my substantial post on a topic I can justify with morality, I don’t follow politics frequently, but I do believe in morality is a big part of our culture whether it’s practiced at work, school, or in this case how our food is processed. I don’t agree with the process of these “farms” and would love to become an activist to change these huge corporations. The only way to force them, is there were strict laws on processing animals or at least a type of process that includes extensive training, inspection and no cross-contamination between clean and dirty animals.