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Letter: Chicken barn not humane

Regarding the editorial “20,000 chickens will be an asset for Dunbarton,” (Monitor, June 10), I respectfully disagree. A 600-foot-long building holding 20,000 birds is a factory farm, and residents are right to oppose it.

The fact that “little human labor is needed” means that the birds will not get proper care, locked inside an automated building as if they themselves were mere extensions of the machinery, which they are not.

The situation is not “humane.” It will not “permit chickens to act like chickens.” A square foot or square foot and a half of living space for each bird is standard in these types of operations. Such packing does not does not permit “roaming.” The cruelest industrial farming conditions and practices have become the standard by which “humane” treatment of chickens and other farmed animals is now being measured. The rhetoric and the reality are disconnected. Chickens are creatures of the earth whose earthrights should be respected – and restored. They are whole beings, not just “egg-layers.”


Machipongo, Va.

(Karen E. Davis is president of United Poultry Concerns.)

Legacy Comments8

It is okay to promote what you want, food lifestyles, politics, etc. You cross the line when you take it too far and get into the I know best area and state that animals should not be eaten. That is your choice. And like the folks who complain that Christmas is pushing religion on folks, it is beyond common sense. We live in a free society. Along with those freedoms comes choice. I venture to say my choices are mine, and as long as you do not pay for them, they are mine to make good or bad. I also must say that I am pretty tired of folks from other states telling us how to live. You folks in Vermont have done a lot of harm up there in regards to folks who farm, are in wood products, etc with all you extreme rules. Many of you have moved to VT from NY and will no longer be happy till VT has no more farming or anything. I suggest you return to NY so Bloomie can tell ya how to live. We do just fine in NH thankyou and do not need your advice.

I understand that you view your choices as independent from the criticism of others - And that certainly is the case in your choice of whom to marry, to purchase a red car or a blue one or to collect stamps or pottery... But the "choice" to eat animals or confine them for "production" certainly does involve unwilling parties that are harmed in your decisions. Once you cause victimization of others it's not only reasonable but urgent that good people step up to speak out against these infractions. You surely would want someone to speak on your behalf if you were being confined, used and then "disposed" of when you were no longer profitable. It's just a matter of emathy - And I do believe the best of us have always risen to the challenge of protecting the weaker against the exploiters. If I can tell anyone "how to live" it would be to live thoughtfully. When those suggestions are ignored - When an unnecessary and violent act is deemed as an acceptable "food" choice - I stand behind anyone that calls that error out.

My name is Miriam Jones, and I am the co-founder of VINE Sanctuary in Springfield, VT. I'm writing in strong support of Karen Davis's position that adding a factory farm to Dunbarton will be an asset to no one. This is especially true for the chickens who will suffer tremendously just so some people can put something completely unnecessary to their survival in their mouths. When will human beings stop believing it is their absolute right to dominate, exploit, use, abuse, and kill members of other species? When will we realize that animal agriculture is just another form of animal abuse? When will we decide to live in harmony with the other inhabitants of this planet instead of stomping all over them with glee and smug self-entitlement? When indeed. Clearly not in the foreseeable future, given the typical reactions that pleas for mercy and justice always garner. But I will say this: a time is coming, due to global climate change, when even people who couldn't care less about hurting animals will have to end animal agriculture simply because it is an obscene waste of water, fuel, and other resources. Animal agriculture is also one of the primary polluters of the planet. For these reasons as well, it is illogical and wrong to build an egg factory in Dunbarton.

Well Miriam you see it's like this. These chickens are not a natural species, they are bred for one thing, egg production. While I don't think that this particular farm may be right for Dunbarton, I just don't think that scrambled bean curd with a side of soy bacon will do it for me. Last time I checked, homo sapiens are omnivores, they eat meat and vegetables/grains. I don't condone cruelty but meat is here to stay. "When will human beings stop believing it is their absolute right to dominate, exploit, use, abuse, and kill members of other species?" That's easy to answer - at about the same time we abolish greed and in essence stop being humans.

Thank you very much for publishing my letter on behalf of chickens and in opposition to the proposal that an organic factory farm building in Dunbarton is humane. The best thing people can do to avoid cruelty to chickens, salmonella contamination, high cholesterol and related problems, while increasing the benefits of compassion, health, and environmental wellbeing, is to chose wholesome animal-free foods. Chickens are creatures of the earth. Let us please respect and protect their right to live on it. Karen Davis, President of United Poultry Concerns

You have to read between the lines to see the agenda but this organization is an agenda driven group like CELDF, promoting animal rights as human rights.

I see your organization promotes a vegan lifestyle. That says all I need to know about your expertise in poultry farming.

One need not be a poultry farming expert to recognize and speak out against inhumanity and cruelty.

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