Actress Evanna Lynch went undercover in a 'nightmare' factory farm with Matthew Glover, the founder of Veganuary and VFC.
Earlier this week, actress and animal activist Evanna Lynch went undercover at a chicken factory farm with Veganuary and VFC founder Matthew Glover.
The podcaster was horrified at the conditions she saw, which is, unfortunately, representative of 95% of chickens raised for slaughter in the UK endure.
Lynch witnessed chickens with skin red raw, unable to stand and gasping for breath. As Glover explained to her before entering the chicken shed, these are not isolated farms, it is “the whole system that’s problematical.”
Writing in a blog post for Veganuary, Lynch recounted her experience:
“We stop and pause once through the door to look out at 25,000 chickens crammed together under one roof. You have to; it’s overwhelming. It’s chaos.
“So many bodies squashed together in the one space, with no crates, no boxes, no shelter, no chance of a momentary reprieve from the utter havoc of thousands and thousands of scared, squawking chickens trampling all over one another.”
“She gave up on life”
One chicken, in particular, stood out to her:
“I jump a mile when I see a chicken on her back, her skin red raw and featherless from the ammonia she’s been sitting in for weeks, her breath coming in ragged gasps. She is hours from death, moments maybe.
“Matthew invites me to approach her and help her to her feet but I’m scared of her oozing wounds, her expression of abject suffering, so I hang back and watch as he carefully turns her onto her front and tries to help her to her feet, but she has no desire to get up again.
“She gave up on life when she collapsed backwards into the ammonia-soaked dust at her feet, and why shouldn’t she?”
The irony of protective clothing
Lynch admits to having released a laugh at the irony of wearing protective clothing inside the shed.
Glover had given them suits and shoe protectors for sanitary purposes upon entering the farm, explaining this was a ‘food safety regulation to keep the chickens clean.’
But she soon realised the plastic was more likely to protect her from the disease-ridden chickens than anything else.
“I pull off the awkward blue protective suit and an involuntary snort of laughter escapes me as I remember that we’d worn these out of a concern for cleanliness, to make sure we did not contaminate the piss, shit and disease-ridden chickens that would be served up to feed the nation.”
If only factory farms had glass walls…
Although Lynch was willingly entering a self-described ‘nightmare’, she was adamant that the world needed to see it.
She explains: “How can we pretend that this is fine? How can we say ‘don’t show me that, you’ll ruin my chicken salad’ when your salad spent 6 long weeks in utter hell only for you to forget that you even ate a chicken salad by dinnertime?
“There are some things, as adults, we have to look at.”
This feeling is reminiscent of the famous Paul McCartney quote, “If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian.”
And unfortunately, this is likely true. The vast majority of people turn a blind eye to the suffering of their food so they can continue eating it ‘guilt-free’.
But just because it’s out of sight, it doesn’t mean it’s not happening, and our desperation for oblivion is wreaking havoc on global public health.
You can read Evanna’s full blog post about her experience here.
Want to learn more?
Read our article on Bird flu: How factory farming is helping spread this killer disease.