Talk Back: Bad Eggs

By on September 9, 2010 with 0 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

For almost a month now the Salmonella outbreak behind the nation's largest recorded egg recall has been in the news, thrusting into the spotlight the appalling conditions in which the majority of our country’s eggs are produced by hens confined on factory farms.

The connection between battery caged hens and salmonella infection and the unsanitary and inhumane conditions discovered at the two Iowa egg companies at the center of the outbreak, consistent with The HSUS’s own recent investigations at some of the nation’s top egg producers, have captured headlines—revealing industry-wide practices that are not only dangerous for the animals but also for consumers.

Of course, the news has also sent many of you to your keyboards, and today I give you the floor. Here is a sample of your comments:

This is disgusting! How can so-called humans cage up animals and abuse them? What has happened to our society? —Nadia Sahari

Wow, talk about a different viewpoint. I was just watching the news and the network news person asked the reporter doing the coverage of this story about the eggs and Salmonella and whether there was any difference in the different type of eggs such as free range or caged. The reporter said studies showed there was no real difference… I guess the reporter just used the press release they got from the egg producers possibly? Interesting to see the other side of the story. —Randy P.

I am so frustrated about the misrepresentation by news commentators and government officials talking about "farms" and "henhouses"—the two facilities responsible for the current outbreak are massive corporate warehouses for animals intensely confined under horrible conditions. One news report I saw showed the outside of the sterile looking buildings, shots of clean white eggs processed down an assembly line, but no pictures about how the chickens actually live crammed together and stacked on top of each other or the massive manure pits that are part of these facilities. … There is a lot of dishonesty and denial going on by not at least mentioning that battery cages and other factory farming practices may be a significant part of the problem. —Lisa

Rick Berman and the Center for Consumer Freedom started out by taking money from big tobacco corporations to smear the American Cancer Society for saying tobacco is linked to cancer. Now they are taking money from big agribusiness to smear the HSUS for saying animal cruelty is linked to food illness. Some things never change. —Amy Katz

Thank you again for your continued fight against factory farming. Hopefully some people will actually pay attention to the findings … and shun battery eggs. —Dyan Nash

I think the more people hear about standard factory farming practices, the more people can't turn away from the truth…I really think unless you personally have visited the farm or know the farmer, or have your own egg-producing birds as pets, you're bound to get conflicting information and/or flat out lies. —Gia

I am in the middle of reading a fascinating and extremely disturbing book "Animal Factory" by David Kirby. In it he details the ongoing battle in various states over factory hog farming and the enormous damage these businesses cause to the environment and people living around them as well as the horrendous conditions the animals have to endure. The book also talks about dairy and poultry farming and the lack of regulation any state or national government seems capable of or interested in enforcing. It's no surprise to me that these Salmonella outbreaks have occurred—I am surprised that they haven't happened sooner! —Inken Purvis

Note: You can read a series of essays by David Kirby about industrial animal production in the July/August issue of The HSUS’s All Animals magazine.

Farm Animals

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