Disinforming is easier than informing

Getting correctly informed is difficult, especially when it comes to protected poultry farms which many activist organizations are targeting with strategies of altered reality.


Disinforming is easier for them because otherwise they would have to collect much more data and make many more scientifically sustainable assessments.

If you want to inform on a complex subject in all its many facets, you have to be as precise as possible otherwise you are not informing.

Speaking of poultry farming, 2024 opened with more frequent interventions by anti-livestock activists than usual, in various media and with a common thread: never a real and reliable analysis of the functioning of the poultry system, but rather an always aprioristic demonisation of it.

To amplify the effect of denunciation there is always another constant: the absence of the counterparty.

In fact, the poultry industry hardly ever responds as a whole, because they probably feel that activists do not have as much of a following as their news seems likely to produce.

The industry however, and unfortunately, underestimates the activists: it considers them a mere nuisance. However, this nuisance is amplifying its frequency and in the absence of an alternative narrative, the public -consumers or not of chickens and eggs- is beginning to believe that silence corresponds to assent and, albeit in small percentages for now, is buying with less conviction.

However, the poultry industry is very transparent: its stated and well-defined goal is to provide safe, cheap, nutritious and accessible food to millions of consumers around the world. And what people don’t know, we at M.A.C. make available by trying to answer all the questions and curiosities that come to us by turning them into detailed, easy-to-follow articles from those who work in the industry with responsibility and dedication.


Instead, ‘biased journalism’ spreads material and arguments already prepared by currents of thought and associations (almost always copy-and-paste even when they are declared to be ‘scoops’), without taking the trouble to delve into the various issues that would be possible simply by listening to other actors working in the same fields.

And that is how disinformation is generated.

Especially on the Internet, it is easier to find articles that lead the reader to opinions that are perceived as information. Distorted images of reality that emphasise some aspects while hiding others in order to induce the reader to adhere to opinions rather than facts.

The arguments expressed by anti-livestock associations on poultry and poultry production have the ill-concealed -or clearly stated- aim of abolishing livestock farming and convincing the world population to consume only plant-based food.


In the documentaries, articles and various statements reported by the various anti-farming associations, one finds descriptions that are definitely false, others that are true and yet cleverly combined with others that, although true, use emphasising adjectives that distort reality and mislead the reader.


Let us give examples of true and false that circulate most frequently:


It is certainly true that broilers from protected farming farms grow rapidly and have a far higher development of pectoral muscles than non-selected breeds.

It is untrue that protected (otherwise known as intensive) farmed chickens cannot walk: how would they be able to feed, water and have that much denigrated growth rate? This is an obvious contradiction.

It is true that protected chickens consume 3 kg of feed, but this is often described as ‘super-balanced’ with an obvious derogatory intent, whereas in reality that feed is a very good feed that is balanced with all the necessary nutrients and perfectly able to avoid any deficiency phenomenon.

It is instrumental to consider it a problem that today’s farmed chickens grow much more than they used to although they naturally consume much less feed than they used to (with 3 kg of feed they reach a weight of 1.8 kg in less than 40 days). Technically, this is called efficiency and it means that today’s chickens cost less because they consume less. You can read more about it here: https://moreaboutchicken.com/improvements-over-the-last-15-years-in-the-organic-efficiency-and-environmental-sustainability-of-conventional-chicken/



The rapid growth of chickens has enabled poultry farming to become one of the pillars of FAO’s strategies to reduce world hunger. The FAO itself always uses the term ‘sustainable agriculture’ when promoting strategies to grow agricultural production, and carefully avoids turning against intensive farming. Why? Simple! Because anyone familiar with poultry farming knows that slow-growing chickens (whose adoption as alternative to fast-growing broilers is suggested by anti-farming activists) are less sustainable because they have a significantly higher environmental impact than conventional farming.


Here is in detail why:

  • More space: slow growing and organic chickens need more space to scratch around 4 square metres per chicken. This leads to higher land utilisation.
  • Food conversion index: slow-growing chickens have a much higher food conversion index (FCI) than fast-growing chickens, measured in whole numbers, not decimal places: it means they need more food to produce the same amount of meat. This is no small problem, if we consider that even a tiny drop in this index (one decimal place) translates globally into more land consumption to produce raw materials, equal to the surface area of Cyprus.
  • Chickens reared on slow-growing free-range farms have higher mortality rates than conventional chickens, mainly due to predators and diseases (viral, bacterial and parasitic) a significant problem for the efficiency and sustainability of that type of farming that also raises serious questions about the true welfare of those animals. Being preyed upon cannot be listed among the welfare ideals claimed by the activists who also demand these animals.
  • Pollution: the lower feed efficiency means that slow-growing chickens produce much more droppings per kilo of meat produced. On average, twice as much. In addition, the runoff of droppings in the outdoor parcels during the rainy season leads to surface water pollution.
  • Price to the public: slow-growing and organic chickens cost much more and therefore fit into small niches of more affluent consumers, moving away from the idea of being an ‘affordable’ feed.
  • So much ado about nothing: why, after decades of slanderous accusations about intensive poultry farming, does slow-growing and organic production in EU still only account for 8% of the poultry product?


Those who propose to breed only slow-growing breeds not only forget the environmental impact that adopting only this type of production would cause, but that adopting slow growth and high prices will not feed the world. The extra 1 or 2 €/kg that slow growth imposes is underestimated. Those who can afford them do not care that they are too high a cost for that large segment of consumers who, as is increasingly the case, struggle to make ends meet on their salary or pension. And they also underestimate the fact that the €2/kg increase would (and does) create serious economic sustainability problems even for the institutions dedicated to feeding the world of the assisted (RSAs, Hospitals, Caritas and other NGO organisations).


However, the production world is able to adapt to all demands, even the craziest ones. If you want a chicken that is bred for a year, the poultry industry can provide it to you as long as you are willing to pay 10 times more than the traditional chicken in the knowledge that that chicken has a very high impact on the planet.


If the global poultry industry is not disturbed by specious and unsubstantiated demands, it makes access to meat and eggs increasingly accessible and environmentally friendly.


But if activists insist on spreading fake news, at some point we expect consumers to react to what is said by activists… who have never committed to producing food for the world.


The editorial staff of M.A.C.