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Climate Change: Chickens Coming Home To Roost

By Mickey Z.

28 May, 2014
World News Trust

Photo credit: Mickey Z.

“This death culture cannot imagine solutions that do not bleed.” - Diane di Prima

Here’s a small sample of how the global animal-agriculture industry (factory farming, the meat/dairy-based diet, etc.) impacts our shared ecosystem:

It consumes and poisons one-third of the planet’s land surface; it directly contributes to topsoil depletion, deforestation, overfishing, species extinction, etc.; and it is the top source of human-created greenhouse gases which translates into climate change.

Based on this incomplete list of food-based eco-devastation, it should seem painfully obvious that something must be done about this situation. Well, fear not, solutions are in the works.

"We need a rational approach”

"American scientists,” writes Edward Helmore in The Guardian, “are racing to develop chickens that can cope with scorching heat as part of a series of government-funded programs looking to adapt to or mitigate the effects of extreme weather patterns on the food supply.”

"Hotter periods will last longer, and that's when we'll see significant spikes in mortality and other stress factors coming in," warns project leader Carl Schmidt, associate professor at the University of Delaware. "We can't wait for that to happen. We have to prepare now."

Why the emphasis on prevention rather than adaptation? "We need a rational approach to provide food in the context of a changing climate as the population approaches nine billion,” Schmidt explains. “The expectation is that people will be eating more, and specifically more poultry because that's the cheapest way to meet demand for more meat."

Echoing liberal hero, Bill Gates ("We can't ask everyone to become vegetarians”), Schmidt concludes: "It's irrational to think people are all going to become vegetarian. They will still want to eat meat."

Follow the Money

Rather than go into a well-founded rant on the myopia of this approach, I chose instead to simply look up a little more info on Carl Schmidt and the environmental destruction he’s being paid to oversee.

In a matter of minutes, I found an article in the High Plains Journal explaining that this five-year project is funded by U.S. taxpayers to the tune of a $4.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative.

But even more despicable than corporate welfare in the name of ecocide is what’s been left out of the corporate media’s reporting:

Schmidt is leading the study with scientists from three universities and (wait for it) Hy-Line International, the largest breeder of egg-laying chickens in the United States.

Yep, in cooperation with Hy-Line scientists, we’re told, “the project will assess commercial hens' physiological responses to heat stress, including feed efficiency, egg production, and egg quality.”

Evolve or Perish

We can continue accepting capitalist solutions to capitalist problems or we can begin re-imagining and reinventing human culture, but let’s be crystal clear: The future of most life on earth depends on which direction we choose now.


To continue conversations like this, come see Mickey Z. in person at National Animal Rights Day in NYC on June 8.


Mickey Z. is the author of 12 books, most recently Occupy this Book: Mickey Z. on Activism. Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on a couple of obscure websites called Facebook and Twitter. Anyone wishing to support his activist efforts can do so by making a donation here.



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