Friday, January 17, 2014

Dead End / Mirage


Dead-End Genetics

Excerpts: “As a result of intensive breeding techniques aimed at profitability, virtually all chickens today suffer simply because they exist. ... Eighty percent of all chicken produced globally — some 44 billion birds — come from one of three companies: Cobb-Vantress, Hubbard, and Ross. While these companies are fiercely competitive, the birds they market are almost identical in outcome, and all of them can suffer from profound welfare problems, most of them caused by fast growth.

“Compared with standard-bred birds who take around 120 days to reach market weight, our table birds today reach the same weight (while eating less) in around 42 days. The industrial breeds of chicken have been selectively bred to grow so large so quickly that they can collapse under their own weight, have difficulty walking in the final weeks of their life, and have musculoskeletal, heart and lung problems. They are obese infants at slaughter age.”

Also, Paul shared a story where a European Union economist predicts further declines in beef and pork consumption. But poultry production there might rise, due to its “healthy image.”

This “healthy image” is a mirage, however. Consumer Reports showed half of chicken at supermarkets have not just bacterial contamination, but “superbugs.” This included chickens labeled “no antibiotics” and “organic.”