places of the world, we should bow our heads in shame. What these
innocent birds suffer to assuage our meat lust is nothing less than
barbaric and cruel. But sadly, most people turn a blind's eye in this regard because
they obviously still buy chicken in all its forms.
Just recently, I recorded a petition in the ledger in front of our church
where I believed we were all welcome to write and share our petitions. I wrote
in it my daily prayer- that the CAFOs from hell be dismantled and that all the religions of the world will teach lessons of compassion for people AND
After liturgy -when some very few of us were praying the rosary together as
this is the month of May -- I noticed that a woman and the priest were looking at
this ledger. Why did I feel that this woman called his attention to my
petition? Right or wrong --but somehow I did. If so, why was she so offended by a petition of compassion? If correct in my assumption, I am saddened that the majority of
people including Catholic worshippers have little or no feeling at all re farm
animal suffering. In this case, I also think that this parish's yearly pork chop dinner
benefit bolsters this opinion.
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Sadly, I believe that not just these Catholics, but the majority of us
don't seem to be bothered by farm animal suffering. If we were, than I believe there
would be many fewer places of suffering as in this case at the Craig Watts Poultry
Farm in North Carolina.
However, Craig Watts is not an ordinary poultry farmer any more because he
is the rare "bird" who blew the whistle on Perdue for the abusive practices it
requires of its contractors.
His story was first told to Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times. Now I
was reading Willy Blackmore's post on TakePart where he is the food editor. Even his
title is attention grabbing: "Here's What Happens When a Big Ag Farmer Invites an
Animal Welfare Group into the Chicken Barn."
Craig Watts, who owns the North Carolina farm that has been in his family
since the 1700's, had been presently raising broiler chickens for Perdue since
1992. But he now tells New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof that the company's
claim of humane treatment for chickens "couldn't get any further from the
To finally hear this said from a chicken farmer is truly wonderful and
worthy of note. He also made possible a high quality footage video which shows birds
suffering throughout their short pain-filled lives. It shows some of the saddest moments in
their lives when they are unable to stand under the weight of their oversized breasts. Their
stomachs are burned bare of feathers because of the preponderance of urine and feces
they sit upon. If there is such a thing as a bird's hell -- I think that this surely
must be it.
And Perdue's response after seeing investigators go to the Watts' farm just
hours after Kristof's column ran? "The fault for the shocking treatment of the birds
lies with Watts."
But other former chicken farmers contracted by Perdue admit that what Watts
revealed was not an isolated incident. Carole Morrison, also a former chicken
farmer from Maryland contracted by Perdue, agreed. She revealed in the documentary Food, Inc.
that when she raised chickens for Perdue on her farm that the conditions were like those found
at the Watt's farm-
"... a massive metal barn packed with birds, two-thirds of a square foot
You've probably thought of this before. And the question is- can we you do
something about this cruelty? The answer is obvious. Stop buying chicken. Maybe if
enough of us would boycott companies like Perdue, compassionate changes will be made.
Thank God, some of us have already responded to that cruelty because we are vegan or
And lastly, kudos to North Carolina's governor Pat McCrory who VETOED the
proposed Ag-Gag law which would have punished whistleblowers who report abuse at ANY
workplace in the state. Here's hoping that North Carolina's legislators will not try to override it
since a recent survey
revealed that 74 per cent of North Carolinians support undercover
investigations of animal abuse and food safety hazards.