For Centuries people around the world have been consuming chicken. It has contributed to culture, art, cuisine, science, and religion for hundreds of years. Chicken is the blank canvas for a chef, the subject on a table in a science lab, the focal point on a framed piece of artwork, and a symbol for global diversity.
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Chicken went from being the first descendent of the dinosaurs, to one of the top meat’s consumed by people. Whether it’s conventional broiler chicken or air-chilled, organic, antibiotic-free chicken, most consumers don’t notice a difference in what they are putting in their bodies, or more importantly why the air-chilled, organic, antibiotic-free chicken is the better choice.Many individuals never think about the poor environment that chickens are kept in at the industrial poultry farms before getting shipped off for production, and why air-chilled, organic, antibiotic-free chicken come from more humane farms. Broiler Chickens live in windowless sheds with tens of thousands of birds with no access to the outside. Michael Specter, a staff writer for The New Yorker went to visit one of these farms and almost got knocked off his feet because of the overpowering smell of feces and ammonia. “My eyes burned and so did my lungs, and I could neither see nor breath. … There must have been thirty thousand chickens sitting silently on the floor in front of me.” (Specter). which just sounds so inhumane. There are also free-range chickens, which according to an article from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment
Rutherford 22of Animals), Terry Swagerty, a Washington State University farm expert, those chickens “are not bred for mobility. They’re bred for hogging down food.” (Swagerty). Most of those chickens never actually go outside. They are only allowed to wander around outside of their cages, but they can still be considered organic (“Organic Livestock”). They also have the poultry chicken that have access to wander outdoors around the farm any time they want (pending weather) Pitman Farms in Sanger, California, produces the Mary’s Organic Air-Chilled Chickens. They have access to outdoors, where ample shade, water, and enriched bales of straw (used for pecking), and eucalyptus tree branches (used for playing and hiding) are avaible to them, as well as places to perch and areas to dust bathe (“Mary’s Organic”) This type of chicken seems to be bred in the best life before getting sent off for production. With all the different types of farms, consumers will hopefully think about what could be in their poultry, and all the harmful things that come as a result of the way they were raised. Up until 2017, broiler chickens were being pumped with antibiotics and hormones to fatten the chicken up and prevent diseases. The people who eat air-chilled, organic, antibiotic-free chicken never have to worry about those type of problems. There has been research done showing that those antibiotics have caused multiple infections in both males and females, and we all know that most people value their lives more than a chicken’s life. A recent study at The Aga- Khan University, found that the intake of commercial chicken meat may be the cause of development of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (POC) in females due to hormonal imbalance, which is very alarming! (“The Effects of”) If that’s not bad enough, an article written in Consumer Reports by Trisha Calvo and Rachel Meltzer-Warren states that the antibiotics did become a “…major contributor to the public health threat of antibiotic resistance, which is when the bacteria that cause infections become resistant to the effects of the drugs designed to kill
Rutherford 33them.” (Calvo). The same article also states that antibiotic free chickens are never given any antibiotics at all, and if they get sick, they will be removed from the antibiotic free line and sent for processing with the conventional chicken (“What ‘No Antibiotics”). The air-chilled, organic, antibiotic-free chicken is the only type of chicken everybody should be taking home with them to for cook dinner, and don’t get that fact confused with the chicken labeled just “Organic”. Consumerist, who wrote an article on Consumer Reports states that antibiotics can still be used for anything that is medically necessary. “though some may argue that there are farmers who stretch the boundaries of what is medically necessary” (Consumerist). If that’s not bad enough, the drug-free rule kicks in the day after the shell breaks open, so those chickens can still be provided antibiotics on their first day of life. Most poultry consumers get confused with all the different labels on the market, when in fact the top two labels people should pay attention to are “air-chilled organic antibiotic-free” and “Conventional/broiler”. Most conventional broiler farms in the United States have discontinued the pumping of antibiotics in the poultry, which this does nothing to the millions who have eaten it for years, and now suffer from certain immune problems. Poultry consumers who find it insane to pay so much for air-chilled, organic antibiotic free chicken should find a way to fit it in their budgets. The average price of the air-chilled, organic antibiotic-free chicken is at $9.99 a lb., (Marys Chicken), and though it is well above the conventional broiler chicken that has the price of $2.99 a lb., (“Chicken Thigh”) the air-chilled, organic antibiotic-free chicken is still worth it. People could try not going out for drinks a couple nights a week or cutting out that dessert to save a few extra dollars to put towards the chicken, it will be well worth it. The air-chilled Organic antibiotic-free cost is justifiable when you know it
Rutherford 44was raised in a spacious environment with a healthy diet, that doesn’t have any of the hormones or additives, and more importantly what people are consuming is all natural. Whether it’s conventional broiler chicken or air-chilled organic antibiotic-free chicken, most consumers don’t notice a difference in what they are putting in their bodies, or more importantly why the air-chilled, organic, antibiotic-free chicken is the only practical choice. The next time a poultry consumer goes to the grocery store to stock their refrigerator with poultry, hopefully they will think twice before picking out which type of chicken they will bring home to feed their families
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