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Prisoned Chickens Poisoned Eggs: An Inside Look at the Modern Poultry Industry (REVISED ED) Paperback – March 10, 2009
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About the Author
Karen Davis is the director and founder of United Poultry Concerns, a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl. Founded in 1990, United Poultry Concerns addresses the treatment of domestic fowl in food production, science, education, entertainment, and human companionship situations. Since 1999, Karen and UPC have hosted eight annual conferences on farmed animal advocacy issues. Her work, letters-to-the-editor, and op-eds have been featured in dozens of national magazines and newspapers. Karen has appeared on numerous TV and radio shows including The Howard Stern Show, The Daily Show, and This American Life on National Public Radio. She is also the author of several books. On July 2, 2002, Karen was inducted into the U.S. Animal Rights Hall of Fame for outstanding contributions to animal liberation.
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In the newly revised edition of Prisoned Chicken, Poisoned Eggs: An Inside Look at the Modern Poultry Industry, Karen Davis provides a comprehensive overview of the history of the poultry industry, a natural history of chickens, and a scathing critique of the ways that broiler chickens and battery hens live and die on modern factory farms. The new edition contains hundreds of new references and current information on the bird flu epidemic, genetic engineering of poultry, the expansion of the chicken industry, global warming, and recent changes in the rearing and processing of commercial poultry.
While, as the title suggests, this is a book of animal advocacy, the information is up to date and accurate. Davis, who runs an animal shelter for poultry, is director of United Poultry Concerns. She has spent over 20 years tirelessly arguing that chickens merit our moral concern.
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the contentious debate over the use of animals. But be careful -- this book could change your life. That's what happened to Ira Glass, host of the National Public Radio show This American Life. He traveled to Davis' poultry sanctuary in Virginia to play the "chicken rights lady" for laughs on his radio show. But few years later, he admitted to David Letterman, she got the last laugh. "I became a vegetarian because of that woman," he said.
The same is true of her book.
Dr. Davis is a former English professor who left her position in academia to campaign full-time on behalf of domestic fowl, and much of the book's impact can be traced to her university background. First, it was thoroughly researched from primary sources, usually the publications of the poultry industry itself. Davis has made herself an internationally recognized expert on chickens and turkeys, their physiology, psychology, natural history, and treatment in modern agriculture. As a result, "Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs" is an authoritative treatment of its subject, and its claims are backed up with ample citations from reliable sources (most often, as I said, from the poultry industry)and have never been shown to be false or exaggerated. Second, Davis writes extremely well, and "Prisoned Chickens", despite its sometimes shocking subject matter, is gracefully written and accessible to the layperson.
The revised and updated 2009 edition is similar to the original, only newer and better. It is expanded and brought up to date in all respects, and people who have read the original edition will still find the revised edition worth their while and then some.
If you are worried about the cruelty inherent in modern industrial agriculture, or if you are concerned about the health and environmental implications of modern chicken and egg production, the new, updated edition of "Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs" is an indipensable book.