“Thousands of chickens die of heat after farm fire,” the AP headline seared the neurons of my mind, Tuesday; dateline: Brook, Indiana. “At least 25,000 chickens died when power was shut off so firefighters could extinguish a blaze at a northwest Indiana farm, authorities said.”
Let us not forget farm animals when we have heat waves. At such times, power outages happen. And life supporting climate control for tens of thousands of animals is instantly shut down. Mass death doesn’t take long at all.
The blackout of this story was local and caused by the deliberate shut down of power to protect firefighters as they put out a nearby fire. It made the news.
How many instances did we not hear about, though, where there was no human story accompanying, where the story was just chicken death from a general blackout?
And while we’re on the subject of energy, what of all that climate control, read: air conditioning for chickens? That’s a lot of strain on the power grid, for sure. Who’s talking about that? Imagine if, during their entire growth period out in the fields, vegetarian food needed to be air conditioned.
Meat is a humane issue. But it’s an important, yet largely neglected, energy issue, too.