Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

The Investigation the Egg Industry Doesn't Want You to See

  1. Jul 18, 2004 #1
    An ABC TV station, WJLA, ran a story called "The Investigation the Egg Industry Doesn't Want You to See", using footage from a group called Compassion Over Killing. It's available online at http://www.wjla.com/news/stories/0704/159474.html.

    It showed some really disturbing footage. It shows one of the most ridiculous instances of false advertisement.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 18, 2004 #2

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I wasn't aware of the "Animal Care Certified" label, but apparently it's fraud. I agree it should be removed since there seem to be no strict guidelines for its use.

    The egg industry is very cruel. There is no concern for the animals.

    Although they cost more, I buy free range hen eggs from a local farmer. When I was little, there was an elderly couple (Mama & Papa Tingle) with a little farm not far from where we lived. I used to watch Papa Tingle hold eggs up to a light to check if they were fertilzed.

    People, pay a few cents more and support your local chickens!
     
  4. Jul 18, 2004 #3

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I suspect there are two sides to this story; and both are wrong. First of all, one example of poor practices does not constitute a scandal. The media is great for using selective examples in order to give the desired general impression - outrage was clearly the goal here. I would bet the other side of things is that conditions on many farms are not what the cosumer would expect. The fact is that large scale animal farming can be a very ugly business. As a kid in South Dakota, my dad worked in beef a slaughter house one summer. He said you could feel the fear and death when you walked in the door. He couldn't eat beef for some time after that.

    As for local news stations, don't trust them. Here is a recent example of how a lack of knowledge can produce an erroneous perspective. A Portland station ran a story about crooked auto repair shops. A mechanic replaced a good fuse needed for an electronic engine component with a bad fuse. When the repairman being secretly tested for honesty replaced the electronic engine component instead of just the fuse, the reporter cried fraud.

    I called the reporter and explained that fuses blow for a reason. No good technician would assume that a blown fuse is a fuse problem - in fact that's considered a classic joke about backyard mechanics and pseudo technicians; replace the fuse and that will fix the problem. In fact, the proper thing to do is to check the system for shorts. If none are found, the technical manual may even suggest that the electronic module needs to be replace. I asked him if he had considered this. He said no. No retraction was made to clear the names of what may be reputable operations. Clearly this did not matter. Outrage was the goal.
     
  5. Jul 18, 2004 #4

    jimmy p

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    :yuck: I didnt realise eggs came from a chicken's bum!! :yuck:







    (DISCLAIMER: Everything in this post above the disclaimer is an absolute lie. No-one is that stupid)
     
  6. Jul 18, 2004 #5

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Ivan, good point about things not always being what the media portrays. They mentioned having an operation of 700,000 chickens. Of course there is going to be a lot of chicken poop from 700,000 chickens, and of course there are going to be some dead chickens around...they don't have that long of a lifespan and any producer with half a brain will replace chickens on a regular basis so they have some new chickens to add at the same time as older chickens die so they don't lose productivity while waiting for chicks to hatch. In a large operation like that, much of the maintenance will be mechanized, so the chicken poop would be piled at the end of a row of cages to be removed from the barn. I don't think most people realize how smelly and dirty chickens can be. And with 700,000 of them, you're just barely going to get one pile of poop cleaned up when it's time to run down the aisles and make a new pile at the end.

    I really had never noticed the Animal Care Certified label on eggs before, so just had to go check the carton I bought today...sure enough, it's there. Just goes to show how important it actually is to us consumers.
     
  7. Jul 18, 2004 #6

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    My aunt and uncle in Florida are chicken ranchers, and I will tell you firsthand, you cannot imagine the conditions chickens are subject to. Theirs is considered excellent and it makes me cry.

    Don't kid yourself into thinking the article posted by dissident dan is an anomaly, it isn't. It's a cold, hard fact.
     
  8. Jul 18, 2004 #7

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I would expect so. The question is, are these conditions generally in violation of the requirements to use the Animal Care mark? Judging by the reaction of the person interviewed this particular farm was a bad scene. Do you know if your uncle and aunt get the mark? This is the point that I was making. Even those farms that legitimately meet every standard might still be appalling to most people.
     
  9. Jul 18, 2004 #8

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    A related aside: Mink farming in Oregon is or at least was somewhat notorious in this sense; the conditions of the farms. I once talked with a mink farmer [who clearly, really, really hated mink by the way], and asked him about the conditions of a farm. The mink are kept in small separate cages which is one of the objections of animal rights groups. I asked him why they can't allow the mink to run over some area; assuming that the problem is recapture or the like. He started roaring with laughter. After he finally stopped laughing and caught his breath, he pointed out that if you were to "free range" mink, by the days end there would only be one mink alive - the toughest and meanest one.

    Anyway, back to the chickens.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2004
  10. Jul 18, 2004 #9

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Ivan, you're right, probably the best of chicken farms would be appalling to the average person.

    The chickens live in cages so tiny, that the muscles in their legs atrophy due to the inability to move. They ususually sit in their own waste until they develop sores and then die.

    Some of the better ones have conveyors to keep the poop moving so the birds don't sit in it, but the cages are still so small and restrictive. It's all about money. People want cheap eggs. To get cheap eggs, producers need to cut costs. They can't afford to let the chickens out to stretch their legs.

    These poor birds are doomed to live their entire lives in pretty much a stationary position in a cage until they die. They're viewed as egg laying machines, nothing more.

    I don't know how my aunt and uncle rank, the chicken ranch is just a part of their business, they also have citrus groves and strawberry fields.
     
  11. Jul 18, 2004 #10
    It's tough for me to have sympathy for chickens (or animals of any sorts), when there are people all over the world living in conditions that could be considered even more horrible. Instead of running a story on chickens and getting a few people not to buy eggs for a few weeks, why not run a story on poor starving people stricken with disease and screwed over by their corrupt governments somewhere in the world and convince a few people to donate some money to help these people out?
     
  12. Jul 19, 2004 #11

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I've been to thirld world countries and the conditions these people live in are abominable. The average per capita income in Thailand was $20 US dollars a year when I was there. We were told not to give money to the children, which would be an insult, but to pretend to be dumb tourists (not hard) and overpay them for the damaged goods they were trying to sell us, and to "haggle" over the price first so they would think they "honestly" tricked us.

    But that does not excuse the rich fat basta*ds here in the US from getting rich from mistreating animals, does it?
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?