An article in The Topeka Capital-Journal highlights a community’s fight against America’s largest meat producer, Tyson Foods.
Tyson Foods has announced plans to construct a $320 million chicken production plant and slaughterhouse in Leavenworth County, Kansas. The blueprints call for 300 to 400 poultry grow houses and a chicken hatchery, feed mill, and meatpacking plant. But nearby residents, who are mostly farmers themselves, are fighting back against the massive company’s plans.
At a rally last week, dozens of community members gathered to demonstrate, urging city officials to deny the permits for the proposed chicken factory.
Resident Joyce Williams, who manages a ranch near Tonganoxie, said that waste from raising millions of chickens would pollute both water and soil since chicken farms usually spray waste onto fields as fertilizer. She’s particularly concerned about the antibiotics given to chickens to enable them to survive their confined living conditions. She added, “Their chicken feed has to be laced with it. They’re going to offer that to people to put on pastures. It stinks.
The community has reason to be concerned, especially considering Tyson’s egregious record of abusing animals, exploiting workers, and destroying the environment.
A report by Environment America found that Tyson Foods is responsible for dumping more toxic pollution into our waterways than companies like ExxonMobil and Dow Chemical.
As for their employees, Tyson is infamous for unfair labor practices, particularly toward undocumented workers, often forcing employees to work long hours in hazardous conditions. A report by BuzzFeed News found that on average, one Tyson employee a month is injured by equipment and loses a finger or limb.
But factory farming isn’t just bad for people and the environment; it’s hell on earth for animals.
Mercy For Animals’ multiple undercover investigations at Tyson chicken farms have shown thousands of birds living in deplorable conditions and many being thrown around and beaten.
A 2015 undercover investigation at a Tyson farm revealed workers violently punching, throwing, and otherwise maliciously torturing animals. The secret video also showed improperly shackled chickens missing the kill blade and having their heads ripped off while still conscious and able to feel pain.
No one wants to live near a factory farm. By choosing delicious vegan foods, we can stand up for vulnerable communities, spare countless animals a life of misery, and stop wasting resources.
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