Poultry Production is Just as Polluting as Beef, Pork
Letter by Karen Davis, United Poultry Concerns
Corvallis Gazette-Times (Oregon), July 29, 2014
A study published in the journal
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
claims that cows and beef production harm the environment more that producing pork, poultry, eggs or dairy. This study irresponsibly tells people to
replace beef by consuming more chickens, pigs, eggs, and cows’ milk to “help” the environment. UPC president Karen Davis published
the following letter in response to two articles about the study that appeared in the Corvallis Gazette-Times:
Regarding the articles “Climate study scorches beef,” July 23, and “Beef pollutes more than pork, poultry, study says,” July 21:
Scientists are remiss to suggest that the answer to cattle pollution is to eat more poultry. In addition to the cruelty of poultry production, and
contamination of poultry products with salmonella, campylobacter, and E. coli bacteria, poultry production is a major cause of environmental pollution.
Poultry litter – the mixture of fecal droppings, antibiotic residues, heavy metals, decaying carcasses, larvae, cysts and sawdust the birds are
bedded in – contains harmful levels of nitrogen, phosphorous and other ingredients that burn plant cells and poison the water. Poultry waste spawns
excess algae that consume aquatic nutrients and block sunlight needed by underwater grasses.
Factory poultry manure exposes wildlife to diseases such as blackhead disease, which sickens and kills wild birds who eat the worms that carry this disease
from chicken manure in the soil.
Areas of natural beauty in the southeastern United States have been turned into smelly, fly-infested places by the poultry industry. Wildlife habitat is
destroyed to erect ugly new chicken sheds, slaughter plants, and trailer camps for slaughter plant workers.
With dwindling land to absorb the volume of poultry manure and slaughterhouse refuse in the United States, the industry seeks land elsewhere. This
expansion is needless. Plant proteins are far more sustainable for us to eat than poultry, including the cropland that is poisoned with pesticides to feed
the unhealthy birds confined in filthy, sunless sheds.
Karen Davis, President, United Poultry Concerns, Machipongo, Virginia
Photos of newborn chicks discarded in plastic garbage bags courtesy of The Animals Voice
Switching "from beef to chicken" is no solution to the mess that animal
agriculture and mass consumption of animal products are making of the planet.
Be vegan. When we eat animal products we consume many more plants indirectly than if we ate those plants directly. Better to enjoy pastas, potatoes, rice
dishes, vegetable stir fry dishes, veggie burgers, tofu ice cream and other delicious foods made entirely from plants. Let us use our purchasing power to
speed technological conversion to the production of all-vegetarian, animal-free foods. As long as there are people on the planet, food will have to be
produced and someone will have to produce it. We can have jobs, health, happiness and a life to be proud of.
Visit our Recipe webpage for lots of delicious, easy-to-make recipes at www.upc-online.org/recipes.