The Humane Society of the US (which I often find to be a bit too radical - and which is no relation to the local Humane Societies where you should get your next pet) is about to release a report about a gross egg farm.
I agree (as I so often do) with Casaubon's Book author Sharon Astyk when she says:
Anyone who doesn't know that factory egg and poultry production is a nightmare - a nightmare of cruelty to chickens, contamination of your food, a nightmare of manure and dead animal disposal issues that threaten human health is not paying attention. Eating commercial chicken or eggs is an act of willful blindness, and the investigation into Kreider farms is just par for the course.
This information has been available to everyone in the US for a decade and more, and promulgated in media, film, etc... Anyone who cares even a tiny bit about what they eat knows this. Most people who do not are actively choosing not to know.
I think I am nearly immune to the attempt at shock in these articles on factoring farming. If I can imagine something horrid happening, I assume that it does happen. In fact, the thing that I found most sickening about Times article was this one line - "Like many readers, I don’t particularly empathize with chickens."
I'm not sure why the author included it. Is it to make us feel better that we've allowed these places to exist? There are a lot of animals (and, to be honest, people) that I have a hard time liking. But that doesn't mean I can't empathize with their situation. It's not hard to see a bunch of stressed-out chickens missing feathers and crammed into a cage to think "I'll bet that sucks."
It's also not hard to find local eggs from small farmers in most places. We actually give our eggs away to coworkers as soon as the percentage of eggs to "other food" in our fridge goes above 50%. We accept donations to Heifer if people insist on paying for them.
Get a chicken. Or get to know someone who has a chicken. Or stop eating eggs.
Or, know that you are directly causing harm to animals and people as the result of your choices.