Unfortunately, this article made them sound really unappealing: (Linked to from bittman.blogs.nytimes.com) http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/01/poultry-transparency/
Seriously. There’s E. coli everywhere on chickens. No suprise, really, with the filthy conditions they live in on factory farms. There’s also the issue of antibiotic resistance, which is not so much from humans using antibiotic handsoap too much but instead from use eating antibiotic laden meats. Chicken and cow and pig feed is just full of that stuff, as a “preventative method”. Maybe if the animals we are raising for food weren’t living in such dirty conditions, we wouldn’t have to worry about preventing “inevitable diseases”.
Another thing that shocked me was the description of how chickens have been bred to grow at unnaturally fast rates, but have less than the area of a 8.5×11″ piece of paper to live. “A full 25,000 individual animals defecate in the same enclosed space for 45 days. They get a lot bigger, rapidly growing from the size of your fist to the size of a soccer ball in that short period.”“If you grew as fast as a chicken, you’d weigh 349 pounds at age 2.” WOW. Most people aren’t 349 pounds ever in their entire lives. It just isn’t natural for that amount of growth to happen in such a short period of time. I think putting in these terms is really helpful for us to be able to connect to just how gross this process of quickly growing chickens for such a short period of time just to kill them and eat them is. I’m starting to jump back on the fully vegetarian train…
Food Reflection Blog:
I love eating chicken. Really, I do. It just becomes a lot harder to do when I have no control over where my chicken comes from (because Aramark supplies it). I morally believe that it is okay to consume animals, as that is what humans were originally intended to consume, but it is hard to do so in a moral way when almost all available chicken comes from factory farms like the ones described above. Like we discussed in class, I would feel much more comfortable consuming a chicken that I had raised and killed myself than eating one that came from a factory farm. That way, I would know it was treated well and lived a good life, and was respected the way any sentient being deserves to be, not tortured and forced to live in horrendous conditions before it was carelessly slaughtered. I did a decent job of limiting the chicken in my diet this week, especially since seeing those animal cruelty videos in class. However, when I chose to do so, it made me think about how convienence has such a high priority in our lives. Convenience dictates much of what people consume, and I do not disclude myself from this statement. If it was easy (and inexpensive– I am a poor college student you know) to obtain free range chicken, I would do so rather than eating the chicken of mystery origins that we see in the cafeteria every day. Since its simply not convenient for me to do so, the next most convenient thing is to eat the chicken available to me or not eat chicken at all. Some people find refraining from consuming meat an inconvenience, but I think it just takes some diligence. Perhaps I’ll start working a little harder on that next week.