DawnWatch: Cleveland Plain Dealer front page series on egg farms

=?windows-1255?B?8e7j+A==?= rumsiki at netvision.net.il
Tue Jun 3 23:40:42 EDT 2003


Cleveland's largest newspaper, the Plain Dealer has done a beautiful 
series
exposing the cruelty and environmental hazards of modern egg farms. The
extensive stories, by Fran Henry, received front page placement on 
Sunday,
June 1 and Monday, June 2.

Sunday's story, "The squawk over Ohio's eggs" compared the way chickens 
were
treated on old fashioned farms, to what they suffer on modern factory 
farms.
The story was jam-packed with information, and was printed with huge 
photos.
I will share one of my favorite sections:

"Listen to the faint scratching sounds. Look how the egg rocks ever so
slightly as the small creature within it struggles to break free.
Peck-peck-peck. A fragile bit of shell falls, and then another.
Peck-peck-peck. Then the baby rests awhile, gathering up the energy to 
try
again, and again.

"Finally, the pale beak triumphs, and the chick is free. It hops to its 
feet
and begins its instinctive search for food. But a hand swoops down and 
picks
it up, and an employee called a 'sexer' makes a decision that scripts 
the
small creature's life.

"For a male chick, it is a short story. He can't lay eggs, and he can't
develop enough meat to be raised profitably for food. So he is dropped 
in a
grinder alive and processed into cattle feed. 'They don't know what 
hits
them,' said Robert Kreider, vice president of Hy-Line, the nation's 
leading
supplier of chicks. 'It's the ugliest side of our business.'

"A female chick, however, has a busy future. When she is about 10 days 
old,
her beak is trimmed with a heated blade to prepare her for life in a 
small
cage. Without the trim, most farmers say, she will peck at other hens,
possibly causing them harm.

"After about 17 weeks, the bird begins to lay eggs, nearly one a day. 
She
lives in a windowless shed, where light, water, feed, heat and 
ventilation
are computer controlled. On some farms, her manure will be allowed to 
pile
up beneath the bank of cages, causing strong ammonia vapors to fill the
barn.

"When she is about 65 weeks old, she is starved an average of 10 days 
to
induce molting, which means she loses her feathers. The process
reinvigorates her, farmers say, allowing the hen to lay eggs another 40 
or
so weeks.

"At about age 2, she is so physically depleted that her bones often 
break
when she is removed from her cage for disposal.

"About 30 percent of hens arrive at the slaughterhouse with freshly 
broken
bones, says a 1999 study for Compassion in World Farming.

"At the end, she is gassed to death and buried, or slaughtered and 
processed
into food."

Henry goes on to discuss the work of Nathan Runkle, with Mercy for 
Animals
(http://www.MercyForAnimals.org ) who breaks into modern egg farms and
documents abuse.

You can read the whole article on line at:

http://www.cleveland.com/search/index.ssf?/base/living/1054581302227950.xml?
lxoth

The Sunday paper also included a wonderful section headed "How hens 
live."
You'll find it at:
http://www.cleveland.com/search/index.ssf?/base/living/1054474263222280.xml?
lxoth

The Monday, June 2 article, on the environmental impact of modern egg 
farms
is headed,
"State rules still short of ideal, some say."

Henry refers to the once peaceful flatlands of Wyandot County where "16
green barns filled with 3 million hens fractured the serenity."

She writes:
"The complex is one of four owned by Buckeye Egg Farm, an 11-million 
hen
company whose lawsuit-plagued history of fly infestations, waste runoff 
and
noxious odors has embarrassed the egg industry and cast doubt on its 
ability
to produce eggs without harming the environment and annoying the 
neighbors.
Since April 2002, Buckeye's permits to operate have been under review 
by the
state."

We learn about new rules governing factory farm operations in Ohio but 
read
that, "The new rules also do not address the problem of nuisance odor 
and
air pollution."

We also learn that, "When the new state rules were implemented in 
August,
responsibility for their enforcement was transferred from the Ohio EPA 
to
the Ohio Department of Agriculture."

Local activist Robert Bear comments, "It's like the fox guarding the
henhouse."

You can read the whole story on line at:
http://www.cleveland.com/search/index.ssf?/base/living/1054553402180680.xml?
lxoth

Here is a perfect opportunity for activists, particularly those in Ohio 
or
those involved with organizations that work to help farmed animals, to 
write
appreciative letters to the editor referring to the cruelty involved in 
the
consumption of animal products or singing the praises of a plant-based 
diet.

The Plain Dealer takes letters at: letters at plaind.com
Link: mailto:letters at plaind.com

A big thank you to Marina Coreto for making sure I/we saw this series.

Yours and the animals',
Karen Dawn
www.DawnWatch.com

(DawnWatch is an animal advocacy media watch that looks at animal 
issues in
the media and facilitates one-click responses to the relevant media 
outlets.
You can learn more about it at www.DawnWatch.com. To subscribe to 
DawnWatch,
email KarenDawn at DawnWatch.com and tell me you'd like to receive alerts.  
If
at any time you find DawnWatch is not for you, just let me know via 
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line.)


"Animals are worth nothing to hunters, millions to the wildlife agencies, billions to the weapons industry... but priceless to us who fight for their liberation"! 
- Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting 

Tell of your passion of the causes you fight for! 
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stateyourcause/ 


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