This letter to the editor was sent in response to the New York Times’ opinion column published on February 6, 2021 about broiler chicken welfare.
I was disappointed to read the opinion piece, “The Ugly Secrets Behind the Costco Chicken,” published on February 6th. The column lacked science-based information and instead elevated the perspectives of extreme animal rights activist groups.
“Undercover video” campaigns like the one highlighted in this piece are a common tactic by activist groups to misrepresent animal agriculture in order to pressure brands to take stances that are not supported by science and generate more attention (and fundraising opportunities) for their cause – ending animal agriculture altogether.
Contrary to the claims made by Mr. Kristof, broiler chickens are housed with plenty of room to eat, drink, rest and move freely which is outlined in the Broiler Welfare Guidelines by the National Chicken Council. Ventilation systems are also part of the housing systems for broiler chickens.
The events described by the article do not represent researched information about modern practices in raising broiler chickens. I encourage you to gather information from more reliable sources than extreme activist groups, such as farmers and ranchers and the experts who work with them daily.
Kay Johnson Smith
President and CEO, Animal Agriculture Alliance
2101 Wilson Blvd., Suite 810B, Arlington, Va.
Category: Alliance Outreach and Projects