When it comes to animal welfare issues nothing compares to the problems associated with poultry farming worldwide. The smells and diseases of a feedlot have got nothing on the perverse practices of a turkey breeding facility. The unacceptable behavior revealed by the undercover PETA video of the Rubashkin’s complex doesn’t hold a candle to the everyday horrors of most non-kosher chicken slaughter houses and while the suffering of factory farmed milking cattle is great it seems minute when compared to the horrors of battery caged egg laying hens. I can unequivocally say that the most endemic and challenging animal welfare problem faced in the world today stem directly from the poultry production system. That is why I’m so excited to hear that this year’s Hazon National Food Conference, titled “Poultry, Pollinators, & Policy”, will be devoting much of its time to the plight of our feathered friend and I’m equally excited to be playing a significant role in this year’s conference programing
Poultry is very near and dear to my heart. You’ve seen me talk about it in passing in posts like “Ethical Convenience” and more directly in my “Chickens Soup Series” and others. Yes, those of you that know me well know that poultry is very important to me and that within poultry I’m most interested in matters related to avian genetics. At this year’s conference I’ll be raising awareness of these issues in several ways. I’ve set up for a run of over 150 heritage chickens to be slaughtered in a small kosher facility in upstate New York that will then be served during the conference. This is to be the largest run of kosher heritage chickens, currently not available anywhere ononanywhere on the planet, to be processed in decades and will serve as both a special treat and unique learning experience for participants. I’ll also be giving a live heritage chicken shechita presentation during the conference as well as speaking at panels and arranging for several cooking classes that will highlight the unique nature of heritage poultry. I’m very honored and excited to be doing all this and encourage readers to consider attending what it sure to be an exciting and though provoking event. Plus, Colorado residents interested in attending have generous scholarships available, which can cover some or all of the event's cost and even travel expenses in many cases.
Lastly, in honor of this year’s special theme I plan to write several blog posts devoted to poultry in the time leading up the conference, which will be held during New Years week. There will be pieces about blood spots on eggs, heritage chickens and a special thanksgiving post in which I’ll be “talking turkey” ;)… Silly puns aside, there will be some very important info coming out over the next 2 months so stay tuned, share, like and read these upcoming posts. They will speak of some of the most difficult and important animal welfare issues in existence today and we all need to be aware and get involved if we ever hope to get things moving in the right direction.
About the blog:
Welcome to The Kosher Omnivore's Quest! My old blog on kosher slaughter, kosher meat, and animal welfare. For new content check out my new website, The Kosher Cut™. There you'll find: blog posts about shechita and related topics, educational slaughter presentations, kosher slaughter training, and a selection of high quality professional kosher slaughter equipment.