United Poultry Concerns
19 June 2009
5-Star Amazon Reviews of Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs, 2009 Edition

Sticking Up for Chickens, February 16, 2010
By (Funkstown, Maryland USA)
Click Here to Read Norm Phelps’ 5-star Amazon review

“Powerful, thoroughly researched indictment of the poultry industry”
By Mark Hawthorne

Click Here to Read Mark Hawthorne’s 5-star Amazon review

“Essential Reading“
By Clare Druce, Director of Farm Animal Welfare Network (UK)


Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs is an outstanding expose of modern intensive poultry production. The author displays a respectful, tender appreciation of the birds she writes about, yet unflinchingly takes the reader through every abusive aspect of industrialized chickens’ lives, frequently quoting from research by the world’s leading poultry scientists. The deprivation Dr Davis describes is all the more poignant in the light of her accounts of birds’ intelligence, the devotion shown by their young and their undoubted capacity for enjoyment, given a natural environment.

She tells how the mother hen communicates with chicks still in the shell, and how later she’ll periodically shelter them under her wings for up to eight weeks - longer than the entire “lifespan” of a modern broiler chicken. Davis writes of ancestral memories, citing research indicating that in battery cages, hens go through the motions of dustbathing (vacuum dustbathing) on the bare wire of the cage floor, so dispelling the myth that “what they’ve never known they don’t miss.”

Veterinarians, poultry industrialists and, yes, physicians too (in the USA, livestock account for 70% of all antimicrobial use) would do well to read this painstakingly researched book. For the activist, it provides an invaluable tool. - Clare Druce

“The Case for Chicken Rights”
By Dr. Harold Herzog, Dept of Psychology, Western Carolina University (NC)

Chickens don’t get no respect. But the fact is that the suffering of commercially raised poultry is the world’s largest animal welfare problem. And because the demand for chicken meat and eggs continues to rise at an astounding rate, the problem is getting worse rather than better. For every baby seal that is clubbed to death, 30,000 chickens will die in the United States; for every dog euthanized in an animal shelter, 3,000 chickens will die; for every animal used in a biomedical experiment, 150 chickens will die; and for every game rooster that dies in a cockfight, 9,000 commercial broiler chickens will be killed for the culinary pleasure of Americans. Further, in the United States, commercially raised chickens, turkeys, and ducks are excluded from coverage under either the Animal Welfare Act or the Humane Slaughter Act.

In the newly revised edition of Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs: An Inside Look at the Modern Poultry Industry, Karen Davis provides a comprehensive overview of the history of the poultry industry, a natural history of chickens, and a scathing critique of the ways that broiler chickens and battery hens live and die on modern factory farms. The new edition contains hundreds of new references and current information of the bird flu epidemic, genetic engineering of poultry, the expansion of the chicken industry, global warming, and recent changes in the rearing and processing of commercial poultry.

While, as the title suggests, this is a book of animal advocacy, the information is up to date and accurate. Davis, who runs an animal shelter for poultry, is director of United Poultry Concerns. She has spent over 20 years tirelessly arguing that chickens merit our moral concern.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the contentious debate over the use of animals. But be careful - this book could change your life. That’s what happened to Ira Glass, host of the National Public Radio show This American Life. He traveled to Davis’ poultry sanctuary in Virginia to play the “chicken rights lady” for laughs on his radio show. But a few years later, he admitted to David Letterman, she got the last laugh. “I became a vegetarian because of that woman,” he said. - Professor Harold Herzog

“Arguing for a More Vegetarian World”
By Midwest Book Review (USA)

Chickens are one of the world’s most embraced food animals, but the modern handling of them could make their flesh not so sweet. Now in a newly updated and expanded edition, Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs: An Inside Look at the Modern Poultry Industry is an exploration of how chickens are handled in today’s livestock farms. Focusing on the importance of animal rights as well as environmental concerns, author Karen Davis calls out the industry as cruel and wasteful, and possibly endangering the world’s chicken eaters. Arguing for a more vegetarian world, Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs is an intriguing look at the world of modern chicken farming.

Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs: ESSENTIAL READING!
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