My family traveled across the state this weekend for a soccer tournament. A few miles from the sports complex out in the middle of nowhere, I noticed a large, confinement chicken operation. You’ve probably seen this type of factory farm before, but perhaps didn’t know what they were .. long, thin, windowless white buildings standing in line, one after another in very ominous fashion.
I pointed the buildings out to my kids and explained what was inside – thousands upon thousands of hapless chickens who never get to go outside, never feel or see sunlight, and are packed like sardines into cages so that they step all over each other just to move around. Many of them also have their beaks cut off (with no painkiller used, no doubt) to prevent them from injuring each other in such close quarters. They are subjected to antibiotic laced feed, day after day, to prevent outbreaks of illness in such filthy living conditions. If the chickens are kept for eggs, the long rows of flourescent lights (or light bulbs) are never turned off so that the chickens have no concept of day and night. As a result, the hens are unnaturally tricked into producing more eggs.
After describing the operation, I asked the kids if they ever wanted to eat eggs or meat produced in such a place. The answer was, of course, a resounding “No!”. They also added that they were glad our local chicken farmer lets his chickens run around outside, pecking for bugs as they were naturally intended to do. No antibiotic laced feed for locally produced, small scale chicken farms. These chickens are happy, and happy chickens have happy meat, literally.
You may think this ridiculous, but the fact is that chickens produced in factory farms are obviously miserable, and animals abused in this fashion have high levels of stress and inflammation producing hormones circulating in their bodies at all times. When you eat factory farmed chicken, you are truly consuming unhappiness in the form of these negative hormones that still reside in the meat. If you haven’t already done so, resolve not to support this type of farm. Find a local farmer and buy eggs and meat from happy chickens.
To get the list of local, small scale producers in your area, contact your local Weston A. Price Foundation Chapter Leader:
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
Sarah Pope has been a Health and Nutrition Educator since 2002. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Weston A. Price Foundation.
Sarah was awarded Activist of the Year at the International Wise Traditions Conference in 2010.
Sarah earned a Bachelor of Arts (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) in Economics from Furman University and a Master’s degree in Government (Financial Management) from the University of Pennsylvania.
Mother to three healthy children, blogger, and best-selling author, she writes about the practical application of Traditional Diet and evidence-based wellness within the modern household. Her work has been featured by USA Today, The New York Times, National Review, ABC, NBC, and many others.