Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Undercover Hatchery Video

Video shows chicks ground up alive at egg hatchery
By FREDERIC J. FROMMER (AP) – 20 hours ago

WASHINGTON — An animal rights group is calling on the nation's largest grocery story chains to post warnings on egg cartons that unwanted male chicks are ground up alive, after videotaping the common industry practice at an Iowa egg hatchery.

In letters sent to the companies this week, Chicago-based Mercy for Animals says its undercover videotape at Hy-Line North America's hatchery in Spencer, Iowa, "exposes one of the industry's best kept secrets — that the egg industry tears male chicks' bodies apart in grinding machines while they are still alive."

The group wants the chains to include a label on egg cartons that says, "Warning: Male chicks are ground-up alive by the egg industry." The letters were sent to 50 chains, including Walmart, Whole Foods, Safeway, Harris Teeter and Trader Joe's.

"The violence that you will see is standard and acceptable within the egg industry, and consumers have a right to know about this cruelty so that they can make informed and compassionate purchasing decisions," wrote Mercy for Animals' executive director, Nathan Runkle.

A spokesman for United Egg Producers, a trade group for U.S. egg farmers, called the proposal "almost a joke." Spokesman Mitch Head said Mercy for Animals had no credible authority, as well as questionable motives. "This is a group which espouses no egg consumption by anyone — so that is clearly their motive." The video does in fact end with a call for people to adopt a vegan diet, which eliminates all animal products — meat, eggs or dairy. Read More

Even though it’s not a pretty process, the euthanization process that is featured in the undercover video has been approved by veterinarians and scientists alike. But there is a bigger issue here. When a company hires someone and trains them in their handling policies, they expect that employee will do their job. So when they hire one of these undercover animal rights activists and they are more concerned about getting video footage rather than their job, things might go wrong. The video shows some chicks that fell off the conveyor belt, but if the undercover worker wasn’t doing the job he was hired for, then it might have been his fault. The other issue is that this group isn’t calling for any type of change in handling practices, they are calling for everyone to become vegans. That is their main goal, the elimination of animals from our lives. If you look at this video through that perspective, then their “investigation” doesn’t hold much water.

8 comments:

Ian said...

The fate of the chicks that remained on the conveyor belt was not to be envied.

There is no way around the fact that male chicks are ground up while still alive...even if every employee was doing a top quality job, this is an ongoing atrocity that is an inescapable part of modern egg production.

erin said...

ummm, actually the fact that they are calling for people to go vegan is exactly why their investigation DOES hold water. if you are outraged by cruelty to animals it makes sense to stop participating in it, right? the fact is, animal agriculture is no longer necessary and needs to be abolished. it is pretty much only people concerned for their own monetary gain or their personal taste preferences that purport to believe otherwise. from an ethical standpoint those are selfish, lame reasons. going vegan makes sense and it's the right thing to do.

Troy Hadrick said...

The amount of food that comes from the production of livestock cannot be replaced. For example, on our ranch, our cattle spend most of their lives eating plant material that you and I can't digest. They turn it into protein that we can benefit from. If we don't have livestock to convert this natural resource into food, then it's wasted and not replaced. This grass would just sit here waiting for a fire to burn it off. If everyone on the planet became a vegan, there would be instant food shortages. Besides that I doubt you are even a true vegan. If you drive a car or use any type of transportation other than walking, then you are benefitting from animal products. Also farming crops kills more animals every year than the livestock industry harvests.

Ian said...

Yes, if you drive a care you benefit from animal products. That only illustrates how pervasive animal exploitation is in our culture.

Humans, even vegans, benefit from animal exploitation. But this is no different than the fact that males benefit from patriarchy and white people benefit from racism...even if such people are not themselves sexist or racist.

That we cannot currently avoid animal products altogether doesn't mean that we should not make decisions that will reduce the harm that we cause others...such as choosing not to eat eggs and other animal products.

Troy Hadrick said...

Ian, I have spent my lfietime making sure that the livestock in my care are well taken care of. For you to accuse me of abusing livestock shows your lack of knowledge about the industry. Would you like to address the fact that farming crops kills more animals than the livestock industry harvests for food? Or the fact that drivers kill more animals on the road? And I do not benefit from racism and why you would even use that as a comparison tells me a lot about you.

Ian said...

When you claim that farming crops kills more animals than the livestock industry, I assume you are referring to a since discredited study by Steven Davis that appeared in the Journal of Agriculture and Environmental Ethics in 2003 and was brought to the attention of a wider audience by Wesley Smith.

In the same volume of the Journal of Agriculture and Enviromental Ethics is a critique of this study by Gaverick Matheny of Johns Hopkins University. Matheny points out that Davis' study is mathematically flawed because it assumes that the same amount of land is required to feed the same amount of people regardless of whether it is used for the purposes raising crops and or raising livestock. This is a drastic error and it invalidates Davis' conclusion. Matheny cites several other errors in the Davis study...but you can check it on your own.

Bottom line: raising crops kills less animals than does raising livestock.

Clone One said...

The fact is the way the video depicts the process is not how it works. There is a unit that has been removed from the line. It provides for instant euthanasia of the chick. The process is approved by organizations all over the world. The "videogrpsher" was hired under false pretenses and is from and organization pushing a specific agenda. The question I have is did that person remove the machinery and make the video appear as it does? The intolerant vegetarian/vegan extremists want to remove wholesome,healthy food choices from my family. If MFA and others who do these things were truly concerned about the chicks, why don't they take them for free (I bet they'd get them for nothing.) and feed, water and care for them? But... I can pretty well guarantee you that will not happen. They are in it for control.

Clone One said...

The fact is the way the video depicts the process is not how it works. There is a unit that has been removed from the line. It provides for instant euthanasia of the chick. The process is approved by organizations all over the world. The "videogrpsher" was hired under false pretenses and is from and organization pushing a specific agenda. The question I have is did that person remove the machinery and make the video appear as it does? The intolerant vegetarian/vegan extremists want to remove wholesome,healthy food choices from for my family. If MFA and others who do these things were truly concernd about the chicks, they woudl take them fro free and feed, water and care for them. But... I can pretty well guarantee you that will not happen. They are in it for control.