A friend sent me a link to a website entitled Chicken Check In, which at first, I thought my friend was sending me a joke. I anticipated something funny! So I clicked on the link and low and behold, I saw a video banner that showed a carpet of chickens, tens-of-thousands of chickens in an industrial poultry warehouse. The website belonged to none other than the National Chicken Council (NCC). This was no joke, folks!
I immediately started noticing things that most people wouldn’t and thought to myself – “The NCC is its own worst enemy”! Yes that’s exactly what I said for those of you who are reading this and have taken a deep inhalation of air in shock that I would dare to say anything of the sort. Even more shocking is that I talked to myself saying “what a bunch of clowns”. I wonder which is more shocking – that I talked to myself or that I said “what a bunch of clowns”?
In an effort to appear transparent and I suppose to show the wonderful life of the chicken in an industrial setting, NCC has once again, shot itself in the foot. Ah, YOUHOO, NCC, chickens that can only lift themselves and take a few steps before plopping down in exhaustion is not a bucolic slice of life no matter what your experts say! Furthermore, if anyone takes the time to notice, why are some of the chickens gasping for air? Chickens do not NORMALLY breathe or try to draw in air through their mouths.
When the chickens do manage to haul themselves up off the manure they are laying in, it saddens me to see that nothing has changed since I was a part of the chicken industry. Having voiced my concerns many times over about the welfare of the chickens and the methods of the industry madness to excuse itself from responsible humane treatment I concluded that industry doesn’t want to change its ways. I think that in the interest of self-preservation industry makes believe it changes its ways.
Going back to the Chicken Check In website, I click on the heading “A Day In The Life”. Eww, look at all of the poo that the chickens are standing and lying in! I’m not impressed with the picture banner that greets me. Why would depicting this convince anyone that standing or lying in one’s own everyday excrement is comfortable to a chicken? I can’t imagine that doing so would be comfortable to anyone be they man or beast.
We hear from a company “poultry welfare expert” that the chickens have plenty of room to commune or go off by their self when they want “alone time”. Let’s go back to the video banner that greets us and the tens-of-thousands of chickens we see with less than a square foot of living space. I guess the chickens do commune when they have no choice. Alone time? Huh! Someone please tell me that I’m missing something because I don’t see any place in the warehouse where the chickens find “alone time”. Very misleading if I don’t say so myself!
I do have to agree with the company “poultry welfare expert” the chickens have plenty of feed and water at all times. Yes folks, 24-7 do the chickens gorge on feed. I suppose this is the part that is considered to be best animal welfare practices. Just imagine letting your pet to gorge itself 24-7.
I further have to wonder when the chickens roost and sleep. I didn’t see anything about that on the website. Roosting and sleeping is a natural behavior of chickens as they like to sleep in high places. It’s a safety issue to a chicken and can provide alone time should it so desire. Having at least 8 hours of consecutive darkness is also natural for chickens however I’m not aware of anytime during a 24 hour day that industrial chickens have 8 hours of consecutive darkness. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong!
I had to finally stop looking farther into the NCC Chicken Check In and I’m positive that I’d find many more things to point out. Disgust and anger overwhelmed me and I don’t want to have these negative thoughts during the Holidays. After all it is supposed to be a time of Peace, Love, and Joy!
From what I just typed, it dawned on me, most everyone must feel the same way. It’s much easier to ignore the disgust and anger than to do something about it.
For all of the many, many issues that have been publicly brought forward and voiced, pictures, documentary’s, exposes ‘ , campaigns, what have you, I can easily see from the NCC Chicken website, it’s still, business as usual in the chicken industry.
In my humble opinion, there is something that is very wrong with the entire picture. However, I’m singing – tis the season to be jolly, falalalala lalalala! Happy Holidays to all and may you have Peace, Love, and Joy during the Season.