On five previous occasions, Tyson Foods has been caught kicking, stomping and suffocating chickens in their plants. Each time, they apologize, say they will fire the employees who engaged in the cruelty, and then it happens all over again. Now they are stooping to a new low.
This November, after much efforts by many people concerned about animal cruelty (see last blog), Question 3 is being put on the ballot in Massachusetts giving voters an chance to end extreme confinement. But Tyson’s is attempting to stop this measure.
Right now they are lobbying Congress to prevent legislation that provides basic protections for poultry farmers. September 30 is a deadline for finalizing annual spending bills and Tyson Food lobbyists are working tirelessly to pass what is known as the “GIPSA Rider” (USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration). If successful, this rider will block the USDA from enacting farmer protection rules that were implemented in 2011 and continue to be blocked by the industry.
Tyson is highly profitable, yet many contract poultry farmers lose money each year, with 71% of small farmers living below the poverty line. This past year, journalist Nicholas Kristof wrote an exposé in The New York Times shedding light on the fact that the poultry industry is unjust for farmers, extremely inhumane for birds, and dangerous for the environment and human health.
Lobbying costs a lot of money and it is effective. It sometimes feel that consumers are at the mercy of these animals abusers, but we have power, too. We can stop Tyson’s in their tracks by boycotting their products. If you feel as strongly as I do about these conscience-less bullies, please tell everyone you know to boycott them. With social media, we can reach a lot of people and take back our power.