Chickens aren’t for eating

RE:  [“Poultry for the people,” Feb. 5, Xpress] I commend the founder of the Asheville Chicken Club for pointing out that chickens are “fragile little birds and they need proper care.” I’d also like to share some information with those considering acquiring chickens. Half of the birds born at hatcheries supplying the egg industry (males) are unable to lay eggs.  They are also unsuitable for meat production because today’s “broilers” have been genetically manipulated to grow big and grow fast, reaching optimum slaughter weight at a mere 6 weeks of age.  So male chicks (byproducts) are killed on the day they are born, usually by suffocation in plastic bags or ground up alive.

What is someone to do if they don’t want to be complicit in sentencing newborn boys to death by buying female chicks?  Well, of course, you can stop eating these cholesterol-laden reproductive secretions.  But, if you are determined to raise chickens for eggs, you might consider obtaining birds from a local farm.  These places that profess good stewardship actually don’t keep chickens very long.  Business decisions are based on profit margins, and egg productivity begins to wane after about a year.  When the girls stop laying at an optimum pace, they get sent to a slaughterhouse.  But they will keep laying if spared this gruesome fate, just at a slightly slower rate.  For every one you rescue, a newborn boy will avoid the ugliness at the hatchery.  It’s a win-win situation.

The picture accompanying the article was heartwarming. Seeing these young children looking upon a chicken with such adoration gives me hope.  The more kids get to know these interesting birds, the more likely they will grow up to find it as repugnant to eat a chicken leg as a golden retriever leg.  For a fascinating look into the behavior, intelligence, and emotional lives of animals raised for food, visit

— Stewart David

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12 thoughts on “Chickens aren’t for eating

  1. mtndow

    Geez-o-pete. Again? Is or is not Stewart David and his cadre of chain letter writers the most published submitters of “letters to the Editor” ever? Is David a stake holder at MX or have something on Jeff Forbes? To me it seems that anything Stewart sends in gets published. I am just sick of being beat over the head with his misguided drivel and his continual attempts to inflict his religion on the rest of our community. I might suggest Mr. David be elevated to guest columnist like Jerry Sternberg so that I may just tear out that page every week.Thnx.

    • bsummers

      …Or, you could be a grown-up & turn the page if you don’t agree with the writer. It sounds almost like you don’t want anyone else to hear Mr. David’s perspective.

      Wait – you own stock in Chick-fil-A, don’t you?

  2. boatrocker

    Or…. possibly mtndow has several very valid points that bsummers cannot reconcile.

    Mr. David’s opinions are based on flawed disinformation from PETA and mirrored in his
    (many- as in more than any other letter to the editor types- look back through the archives and count them) posts which incorrectly state among other things:

    -that all domesticated animals should be put to sleep-cows, chickens, dogs, cats, etc
    -humans never should eat meat-ever
    -that humans evolved as vegetarians despite having binocular vision, canine teeth and a shorter digestive tract than herbivores (we’re omnivores)
    -that every human on earth should subscribe to his eating habits (foodie Taliban, anyone?).

    David also refuses to acknowledge PETA’s barbaric treatment of adopted animals in its headquarters (Euthanization vs adoption).

    Answer me this, Mr. David as I have posted the actual statistics from PETA’s own website many times (again check this site’s very own archives), what percentage of animals adopted by PETA are put to sleep for the crime of being in your possession vs. being sucessfully adopted? What % of PETA’s operating budget goes toward adopting animals to humane owners?

    As long as I’ve refuted Mr. David’s posts, he never has addressed my concerns in writing- how do you tell an Inuit that their 10,000 year old diet is wrong and that they need to take the dogsled team 100 miles to the nearest farmer’s market to buy veggies because meat is murder?

    Please, Mr. David, also address the American Indian ideal of the circle of life.

    Silence, as usual.

    Finally, many posts that refute David’s beliefs are routinely censored and not published on the Mtn X’s letter’s to the editor for never violating any terms of agreement for posting. One sided journalism light, perchance?

    Feb. 22, 7:10pm, 2014. Let’s see how long this post is delayed for appearing on the website.

    • bsummers

      Damn, I hate it when you expect to be censored and instead they publish you promptly. I think it’s a conspiracy to silence you.

      I’m just saying that Mr. David has the right to submit his beliefs to the community just like you do, but you & ‘mtndow’ (two anonymous posters) appear to want him silenced.

      More discussion, not less.

  3. D. Dial

    In all fairness, I’ve always had any lte sent to MtnXp published. So I’d say if you have an issue with someone else’s being published, then buck up and send your own for publication.

  4. boatrcoker

    Monday, Feb 24, 2014.

    You mean like an argument for actually fact checking letters to the editor?

    I’ve posted like a machine about that very thing for years, but well….you know…

    As I’ve said for years, more posts, not less…but fact check and establish the burden of proof.

    Microbrewed beers, restaurants and singer songwriters.

  5. Margaret Williams

    Boatrocker, as the primary comment-reviewer here at Xpress, I can say that your comment linking the letter writer, Stewart David, to the Taliban was a borderline personal attack. Ask for facts and engage in real dialogue

  6. Stewart David


    My letter is about the hidden cruelty of the egg industry. Most people are unaware that baby male chicks are industry byproducts and brutally slaughtered on the day they are born, and I think it is a piece of info worthy of sharing. And I offered a couple of alternatives. Rather than address the issue at hand, you chose to call me names. Do you oppose people making informed choices? To answer your questions, which are pretty much unrelated to my letter:

    1) RE: Canine teeth: Human “canine teeth” are good for tearing apart an apple, etc., but hardly resemble a true canine tooth. Try doing what real carnivores do, and rip apart a live animal and eat the raw flesh. Or just use road kill, if your aren’t up to doing the killing yourself. If you go ahead with this test, do it near a hospital, please. If you are interested, Dr. Milton Mills explains why humans are designed to eat plants, not animals, see “The Comparative Anatomy of Eating”

    2) RE: Native American and Inuit diets: How about examining what most Americans eat? What you eat? To learn more, I hope you will watch Glass Walls (narrated by Paul McCartney) at Is this brutality something you embrace as part of the “circle of life?” I think we can do better.

    3) RE: PETA and euthanization: I have never worked for PETA, so, of course, your question is just another way to obfuscate the issue at hand. I do support their great work for animals. Here is PETA’s explanation for those who want to know why euthanization is, sadly, often the compassionate choice in a cruel world that treats animals like crap.

    Why We Euthanize:

    Upton Sinclair said, “It is hard to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” Perhaps you work in an industry that abuses animals and your livelihood depends on keeping the cruelty out of sight and thus out of mind? Since you hide behind a moniker when you toss out insults and misinformation, who knows? If you want to continue the discussion, please use your real name. I welcome dialogue with people who seek to exchange knowledge and perspectives in a respectful manner, but I’m not interested in sparring with anonymous, vitriolic name-callers.

    “It’s a matter of taking the side of the weak against the strong, something the best people have always done.” Harriet Beecher Stowe

  7. Stewart David

    A recent issue of Scientific American includes the story, “The Startling Intelligence of the Common Chicken,” noting that a chicken “can solve complex problems and empathizes with individuals that are in danger.” Chickens, as well as pigs, the brainiest of all farmed animals, outperform dogs and cats on some tests of advanced cognition. Yet if you treated a canine or feline the way we treat chickens or pigs, you’d go to jail.

    • travelah

      The startling intelligence of the common chicken …. bwaaaahahahahahaha …

      Thanks for the uplift on a Friday afternoon! LOL

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