Read a review of Planet Chicken, an "odd bird's-eye view" of the poultry industry, from a man with a chip on his shoulder and bird blood in his eyes. After recounting his summer farm job, which included chicken mass murder ("If you pull the neck too hard and the head comes off, chickens become blood-spurting pistols"), Spiked's Mick Hume gets into it:
An unsentimental attitude towards farm animals is actually sensible and human. Those who have to work with them for a living have always been the most clear-eyed about these matters – at least until the advent of hobby farmers who give their hens names like 'Chickpea'.
His swashbuckling wrap-up:
The notion that the wonders of modern farming amount to 'industrialised savagery' is the product of a conveyor belt of overfed dull ideas in our Chicken Little society, where people who should know better rush like headless chickens from one food and health panic to another (as epitomised by the bird flu scare about UK poultry). It reflects a culture that not only fears the future, but has also lost faith in the achievements of its own past, so that a great stride forward for human nutrition can be dismissed as 'inhumanity to animals'.
In the past it was said that you could judge the level of a society by its treatment of its prisoners. Frederick Engels argued that we should judge it by the way it treated the female half of its population. But only a society up to its own neck in misanthropic crap would accept that civilisation be judged according to how it treats its bloody chickens.
Read more about life down on the farm from Ron Bailey.