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Big Chicken Farms Are Not Only Inhumane, They Help Push Small Farmers Out of Business

April 08, 1990

It is very hard to feel sympathetic for the people responsible for a business that tortures chickens ("Egg City Partners Hurl a Scramble of Charges," March 20).

The hens are confined for life in tiny cages. Normal behavior, even movement, is impossible. Most "layers" are de-beaked, a process where the upper beak is sheared off with a hot blade. Male chicks are thrown into garbage bags to slowly suffocate under the weight of other chicks. Some are ground into animal feed. Veterinary care is non-existent, the cost outweighing the value of the "asset."

Over 98% of the egg market is now under the control of huge "farm factories" such as Egg City. Allowing these capital-intensive businesses to operate in callous disregard of humane treatment drives out the smaller, more labor-intensive family farms that used to be the backbone of agriculture.

ELLIOTT S. MITCHELL

Costa Mesa

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