Georgians for Pastured Poultry
Compassion in World Farming joined forces with other organizations and individuals and set up Georgians for Pastured Poultry (GPP).
The US leads the world in production of broiler (meat) chickens, raising and slaughtering almost 9 billion birds annually. Americans’ consumption of chicken meat rose by 188% between 1970 and 2005, faster than pork or beef.
Within the US, Georgia is the largest producer of broilers, bringing to market 1.4 billion chickens annually. If Georgia were a country, it would be the sixth largest broiler producing country in the world, just behind China and Brazil. In Georgia there are 24 chickens for every person.
With this dramatic rise in poultry consumption has come an industrial production model, one appropriately termed “factory farming.” The rapid and now thorough industrialization of Georgia’s poultry farms imposes great costs not reflected in the price consumers pay; costs to animal welfare, human and environmental health, and workers’ rights. While these costs are often invisible to consumers, it is important that they be brought to light.
To that end, Georgians for Pastured Poultry was formed.
Its purpose is to inform consumers, whom we like to call “food citizens,” as well as businesses and government about the true costs of the factory farming of meat chickens, and about the need to support and develop fairer, more humane and sustainable alternatives.
The opposite of the factory farm model, and the one we support, is chickens raised on pasture.
GPP is made up of Georgia-based farmers, chefs, animal welfare advocates, environmentalists, and health professionals, and advocates pasture-raised chicken as an alternative to the harmful chicken factories that dominate the state’s geographical and political landscape.
Out of sight, out of mind
Our investigation into US chicken farming in the state of Georgia
Together, we put together an informative report, revealing the following:
- Georgia’s industrial poultry operations produce enormous volumes of excrement, which washes into waterways
- Collectively, they generate approximately 2 million tons of poultry litter annually, about 20% of the US total
- Food illnesses related to poultry consumption cost the United States over $2.4 billion annually, more than any other food
- The modern broiler chicken is abnormally large and has been bred to grow at an unnatural rate. This results in devastating leg disorders and heart and lung problems.
- To complement this report and to convey the low animal welfare and other monstrosities of chicken factories, Compassion made a short investigative film.
‘Out of Sight, Out of Mind’ shows the consumer the damage that these farms are having on the state and promotes a humane and sustainable alternative: pasture raised chicken. It includes footage from inside a Georgian factory farm, and interviews with experts in various fields, such as workers’ rights, environmental law and local residents who are affected by chicken factory farms.
Watch the film: 'Out of Sight, Out of Mind'
Warning: some scenes may be distressing
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Pastured Poultry Week
A celebration of humane and sustainable pasture raised chicken
Buy higher welfare certified or pasture raised poultry.
About chickens farmed for meat
Chickens farmed for meat are called broiler chickens.
Welfare issues for meat chickens
Approximately 70 percent of chickens raised for meat globally are raised in intensive farming systems.
Higher welfare for meat chickens
There are systems that offer significantly higher welfare for meat chickens (also called broilers).
How can I help?
There are a number of ways that you can help chickens farmed for meat.