Meet the Meat

Chicken Little? When it comes to confronting corporate abuses, chicken farmers chicken out. Now we’re left with oversized chickens, corporations, and jeans. It’s time to see what’s really in the butcher’s bucket.

The meat industry seems to have ingeniously invented a way to make food cheap, quick, and uniform, but in the process they are crumbling animal rights by inhumanely turning their farms into factories, destroying the natural environment while negatively affecting consumers, and gaining immense power while abusing chicken farmers as they construct a deceptive environment behind the scenes.

McDonald’s may be known for being unhealthy, but that doesn’t stop the food chain from being one of the most powerful fast-food chains in America. Their game-changing idea of making interchangeable food has paid off. According to Food Inc, suppliers had to create a factory environment to match the fast-food market in order to stay on top of the economic game. Chickens are raised and killed in half the time they were 50 years ago and are now twice as big (Food Inc.). In order to make the animals plump enough for business, they are fed growth-inducing hormones that can cause painful inflammation of the udder known as mastitis (Geer). The animals are forced to live in crowded warehouses where they will walk the crammed spaces on their own feces. Because of the unnatural size, they acquire due to what they are fed, many become too heavy to walk on their own two feet and die of starvation or dehydration (Food Inc.). Old-fashioned farming has disappeared, as money and speed have become the two predominant factors to suppliers, taking precedence over health, quality, and human decency.

Moreover, many of the health issues that plague the animals have now translated to humans. The hormones have caused an increase in the risk of breast, prostate, and colon cancer in meat consumers (Farm Sanctuary). Huffington Post says that more than 80% of antibiotics produced were fed to livestock because of unsanitary conditions. These drugs are actually contributing to the spread of super bugs that thrive in the absence of weaker microbes (Huffington Post). Diseases like E. Coli, salmonella, swine flu, and avian flu are communicable from animals and are being passed on to humans.

Worse still, the top four meat-supplying companies control 80% of the market, as opposed to the 25% that was controlled by the top five companies in the 1970’s (Food Inc.). Farmers go into debt buying resources and stay in debt because of all the forced upgrades. They have no say in the treatment of the chickens and if they refuse to upgrade to a dark tunnel-ventilated house system, their contract can be terminated. Because of the payment system, farmers who produce fatter chickens with less feed get raises while the others get pay cuts. Last Week Tonight states chicken farmers live below the poverty line. If a farmer dares to speak out, companies will retaliate through pay cuts and inferior supplies (Oliver). Nothing is done about this because these large companies sponsor many of our representatives in congress. Protective rules for poultry farmers were written, but they are not being enforced because a rider is inserted into the Agricultural Appropriations bill that forbids the USDA from enforcing these rules (Oliver).

The path humans now tread is one of misery for animals and consumers alike. In a capitalist system, it is not surprising that corporations will go the extra mile to rake in more dough, but some are now arriving at surreal ends through despicable means. The public cannot continue to ignore the fine print. Together we can make the issue a more prominent topic until change becomes a reality.

-Christine Magnuson


1. Food Inc. Dir. Robert Kenner. Official Food, Inc. Movie Site – Hungry For Change? N.p.,n.d. Web. 13 Apr. 2017. http://www.foodincmovie.com/.

2. Oliver, John.”Scandals.” Last Week Tonight. 17 May 2017. Youtube. Web. 28 Mar.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9wHzt6gBgI&t=821s.

3.”9 Facts About Factory Farming That Will Break Your Heart.” Huffington Post. Huffington Post, 17 Mar. 2014. Web. 28 Mar. 2017. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/17/factory-farming-facts_n_4063892.html.

Is it really “Farm Fresh?”

In the present time, our food is usually marketed in stores as being “Farm Fresh,” which gives shoppers a sense of trust of the idea that farms still make and produce foods like they did in the early 1900’s. However, modern food production appears to be more of a factory than an idealistic farm setting. Though people may think differently, thousands of chickens are packed into dark, poorly ventilated houses. On account of these corrupted companies compete over the domination of the market and keep turning profits, production animals everywhere are suffering.

In my research, my interest was taken in the subjects on if the animals in the farms have the right to have a certain quality of life. In the food production industry, the major corporations control the quality of the products being produced by major providers. These providers tend to only care about profit and not the well-being of the animals they produce. One example in the documentary “Food Inc.” was related to chickens. The chickens were mass produced by big corporations such as Tyson and Perdue and have been engineered for the chickens to grow four times the size of a normal chicken in a short amount of time. Though the skin and muscle have been designed to grow very quickly, the bones and internal organs of these modified chickens can not keep up. The documentary showed several clips of these mutant chickens taking a few steps and then having to lay back down because their bodies can not support their weight. Production animals such as cattle should be fed grasses and roots of the land instead of corn, which they are not meant to consume and digest.  If we decide not to abide by these rules, society’s actions of pertaining food can be detrimental to our planet.

I believe that these food and animal processors should aim toward using renewable energy or process wastes to produce energy. Providing safe and nutritious food remains a leading priority for the food industry. It is so important to continue this life cycle of food products where we can use our resources effectively and harvest the foods, so it will not be permanently damaged.

Jamison G. Tsuchiya


  1. “Harman’s Place!” Do Animals have the right to a certain quality of life? Accessed April 18, 2017. http://harman-thes-classover7-series.blogspot.com/p/do-animals-have-right-to-certain.html.
  2. “Factory Farming: Misery for Animals.” PETA. Accessed April 20, 2017. http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/factory-farming/.
  3. “Chickens.” Farm Sanctuary. Accessed April 20, 2017. https://www.farmsanctuary.org/learn/factory-farming/chickens/.

Fig. 1. The Chicken of Tomorrow needs to be the Chicken of Yesterday (http://heritagefoodsusa.com/)

Animal Lives Matter

Animals, the living breathing creatures besides humans. Some people have them as pets, others run free in the wild, but the majority of animals are used for food. Around 9 billion land animals are killed each year in the U.S. to produce meat, dairy, and eggs. That is about one million every hour. On the other hand, the number of aquatic animals killed for food is in the trillions. These animals don’t even get to live a healthy normal life, Because the demand for animal based foods is very high, that the need for certain animal rights is being compromised.

Animals need water, food, oxygen, temperature, and a habitat to live. Most of the animals that are raised for food tend to have all these five elements, but majority of them do not have the proper forms of these elements. Animals that are raised by major food industries do not have the rights that they deserve. I am not saying that animals need to have the same rights as humans, but they need to be entitled to certain living rights for their benefit and consumers benefits.

A lack in quality of the elements and animal needs, can lead to major issues. These issues can range from things like diseases, deficiencies, and death. Any of those issues that develops in an animal will later be present in that animals meet, milk, etc, which the consumers then purchase and get sick and can possibly die.

Unfortunately, animal food products will most likely continue to be consumed, because animal products contain many nutrients and tastes good. Therefore, it is so important to give animals certain living rights that gives them a better quality of life, not only for them but also for the consumers. First, water should be clean and available to them all the time. Second, food should be clean and matched to the animal. Both food and water are ingested through the mouth, which means if unclean or not the right kind, they can easily cause the animals to develop sicknesses and diseases. Third, the animals should have access to air from the outside. This helps clean out their system, and helps them not to spread the disease as fast. Fourth, the animals need to have access to the right temperature and not whatever the farmers deem right. Fifth, the animals should have more space to move around and clean manure free floors. This will keep most of the diseases away. This will cause animals to be healthier, which in turn gives us a better quality in animal produce.

-Rodny Aquino


  1. Skip Davis, “5 Basic Needs of an Animal,” Sciencing, , accessed April 17, 2017, http://sciencing.com/5-basic-needs-animal-12001250.html.
  2. Food, Inc., dir. Robert Kenner, by Elise Pearlstein and Kim Roberts (USA: Magnolia Home Entertainment, 2008), DVD.
  3. Fig. 1. Chickens born and raised in a nasty spaceless room. http://www.occupy.com/article/factory-farming-divestment-movement-puts-animal-welfare-spotlight#sthash.YujMpXFc.dpuf