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Chickens die so nuggets can live on

By Walter Geiger One would think the loonies would have learned by now not to take on Chic-fil-A. As you will recall, the company’s chairman, president, CEO Dan Cathy told reporters his firm was ‘guilty as charged’ when asked if it supported the Biblical definition of marriage. The loonies called for a boycott of Chic-fil-A restaurants on a specific day. Those who love the restaurant and its food counterattacked and the company had record sales that day. In many cities, police had to be called in to sort out traffic around Chic-fil-A locations. Chalk one up for Team Eat more Chikin ‘“ and for traditional marriage. Now the lovely folks at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have decided to take on Chic-fil-A, demanding it offer vegan or vegetarian menu options and chicken nuggets made from tofu. I’m sure those tasty treats will test market well. PETA executive vice president Tracy Reiman and somebody named Ethan Brown from an organization called Beyond Meat have called for Chic-fil-A and its poultry producers to open their chicken processing plants to public scrutiny. Brown alleged that ‘living, feeling chickens’¦ have their throats cut while still conscious and are often scalded to death in defeathering tanks.’ Somebody forgot to tell Mr. Brown chickens have brains the size of a marble. They don’t understand they are destined for slaughter from birth. Otherwise, they would have crossed the dadgum road. Going back to the first Thanksgiving, there was a little bit of blood, gore and evisceration involved in getting those turkeys to the table. It’s an American tradition. Somebody had to lay the turkey out, whack off its head with an ax, eviscerate and pluck it before it went on a spit over the fire in preparation for the feast. I have some expertise in this area because, right out of college and not fully in possession of my faculties, I worked at a chicken rendering facility as an employment manager. Big companies run hatcheries where chicks are produced. They are then trucked to large poultry houses on American farms. Remember that guy? The farmer? The chicks are fed out in the houses until they are ready for slaughter. In the middle of the night, catchers come in, snatch up the chickens, put them in crates and load them on trucks. The first thing a suddenly snatched up chicken does is loose its bowels so this is nasty work. When the trucks arrive at the rendering facility, more workers take them from the crates and hang them upside down by their feet on shackles attached to moving overhead chains. Again the natural reaction of the chicken is to foul the general area with a bowel release. If you want to feel sorry for somebody, feel sorry for the catchers and hangers. Theirs is a nasty existence indeed. From that point on it is a quick end for the future nuggets. The chain carries them through a saw that cuts their throats. They die fast and bleed out rapidly. The chain then proceeds to the aforementioned tanks where the feathers are scalded off. A final saw cuts off the feet ‘“ which go to the Orient where they are delicacies ‘“ and the chickens fall into an area where they are rehung on a different chain system, automatically eviscerated, graded and then sent on to an ice bath for chilling. Then they are prepared for sale. Some go out whole. Some go out in parts. But they all are headed for human consumption. Working in such a place is not for the weak of stomach. Finding those willing to work in there was a challenge. I’m not sure how tofu is made but it must be a cleaner process and that is all fine and good. But, when I am watching the big game, I want chicken wings not tofu nuggets. Those are my personal tastes and I don’t try to force them on others. Those at PETA are the opposite. They want to cram their positions down our throats and gag us with them until we are ‘˜corrected’ and adopt their position. That kinda sticks in my craw. Walter Geiger is editor and publisher of the Herald Gazette.

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