Pilgrim’s Disgrace

Threatened by the rise in feed costs, the world’s biggest poultry processor, Pilgrim’s Pride, is shutting down a chicken-processing plant and six distribution centers.

The ethanol boom, climate change and growing demand for grain, has resulted in the cost of global food staples to rise. The pinch has been felt the hardest in the developing world, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is speaking out on this “New Face of Hunger.”

Given the increased costs of fuel and grain and the impending food and climate crisis, the time for questioning intensive industrialized animal agriculture is long overdue. The true costs of cheap meat are starting to show, and the fact that a poultry processing giant in the U.S. was impacted is pretty notable.

But Pilgrim’s Pride gained other notoriety a few years ago, when undercover investigators at PETA documented worker abuse towards the animals:

July 2004, PETA revealed the results of an investigation into a KFC-supplying slaughterhouse in Moorefield, West Virginia, where workers were caught on video stomping on chickens, kicking them, and violently slamming them against floors and walls. Workers also ripped the animals’ beaks off, twisted their heads off, spat tobacco into their eyes and mouths, spray-painted their faces, and squeezed their bodies so hard that the birds expelled feces—all while the chickens were still alive.

These types of investigations just got some good press on the New York Times: Upton Sinclair, Now Playing on YouTube.

Hopefully with more exposure of the cruelty and the environmental and social costs of this horrific system of raising and killing animals for food, more plants will shut down.

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~ by sangamithra on March 15, 2008.

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