Chicken Scratch is a new ASPCA Blog feature that highlights interesting news about farm animals and farm animal welfare.
- As Americans become more aware of how mass-produced chickens are raised, they are demanding better options, including birds raised without antibiotics. But as this NPR story notes, most antibiotic-free chickens still live in filthy, overcrowded conditions.
- We’re super puzzled by Perdue’s new ad slogan for its line of antibiotic-free chicken: “Eat like your ancestors.” We’re pretty sure our ancestors wouldn’t even recognize today’s frankenchickens, who grow three times faster than chickens did 60 years ago!
- The National Chicken Council is kicking up its efforts to convince consumers that raising chickens on factory farms is a wholesome and humane process with its new website, The Roost. There’s even a page for kids showing happy chickens pecking at grass outside of red barns! We know that image couldn’t be further from the truth for most of today’s chickens.
- In The New York Times, Nicholas Kristof questioned a disturbing practice used by pig farmers to immunize pigs against a deadly virus affecting factory farms.
- In other pig news, an investigative report published in the National Resource Defense Council’s On Earth magazine revealed that waste from farms is poisoning much of Iowa’s drinking water. Consumers and animal lovers are increasingly wondering whether the “efficiency” of industrial farming is worth the costs.
- Recommended reading: The Meat Racket by Christopher Leonard, an exposé of the agriculture industry’s exploitation of farmers and chickens in the name of profit. Read reviews from The Washington Post and NPR.
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