August 11, 2010

Puppies, kittens can’t be treated as badly as chickens

Scott Knox’s letter (Aug. 1) stated that $4 per dozen is too much to pay for free-range eggs. He implies that low prices justify the methods employed by factory “farms.”

Does he realize what kind of life “laying hens” have to endure?

Much of each birds’ beak is cut off using no painkillers. They live in cages measuring about 18-by-20 inches, along with five or more other hens, each with a wingspan of about 32 inches. They haven’t the room to raise their wings throughout their entire life and must stand on the wire bottoms of the cages or on top of their cagemates.

These cages are stacked, with excrement from the top cages falling into those below and into pits that line the barns. Lighting in the barns and food are manipulated to encourage unnaturally large laying cycles. The chickens are subjected to constant stress.

If we were talking about puppies or kittens here, the ASPCA would be called and charges would be filed, but because they are chickens, it somehow is all right to raise them in these horrific conditions.

I don’t understand it, and I refuse to support such an industry. We have alternatives. Several small farms around raise eggs using humane and organic methods. They can be identified in large grocery stores by a stamp on the carton that says “Certified Humane Raised and Handled.” They also can be found at local farmer’s markets and natural foods stores.

We have alternatives to supporting factory farms. Yes, the eggs cost more now, but if enough people support humane farming methods, the prices will go down. Supply and demand, remember? In the meantime,

I’m more than willing to pay an extra 16 cents per egg to stop the suffering of these birds.



Elizabeth Vigue

Waterville

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