Paradox Which Came First Chicken or Egg Concept. Causality Dilemma, Chicken-and-egg Metaphoric Adjective. Tiny Male and Female Characters at Huge Hen with Question. Cartoon People Vector Illustration

Poultry farming and the paradox* of the quest for sustainability -first section-

* The paradox is a powerful stimulus for reflection. It reveals both the weakness of our capacity for discernment and the limitations of certain intellectual tools for reasoning. Thus, paradoxes based on simple concepts have often led to great intellectual breakthroughs. Sometimes it was a matter of discovering new mathematical rules or new physical laws to make conclusions that were initially ‘seemingly unacceptable’ acceptable. Other times, it was a matter of identifying the subtle reasons why ‘seemingly acceptable’ premises or reasoning were fallacious. (wikipedia)


“The United Nations has indeed indicated that food production and climate action are among the world’s greatest challenges.  Added to this is the fact that consumers are always looking for food that is simultaneously high quality, affordable and part of a healthy, balanced diet.”



Those who are about to read this article should do so with the patience of those about to embark on a read that will hopefully be interesting, but necessarily long… just a few minutes. When the things to be said are particularly articulate and concern topics that would otherwise be difficult to find, it is a good idea to forget the rule of synthesis and devote oneself to explaining some of the paradoxes that come to life in the narration of poultry farming when it is entrusted to the web or to the generalist media which, precisely in order to be concise (and in their own words popular), all too often omit the in-depth studies that are instead needed to make it clear that the results of demanding research must be considered on a scientific and not an ideological level. In short, explanation is needed.


Inevitably, we are forced to start with the attitude of the organisations opposing intensively protected poultry farming (otherwise superficially referred to as intensive). These organisations act by combining a kind of cross between ideology and a lack of aptitude/willingness for scientific investigation.

As already mentioned in this article it is to be hoped that sooner or later a calm dialogue and exchange will be generated between the poultry sector and its detractors. Being prejudiced a priori, in fact prevents the application of innovations and refinements, where scientifically proven, of the already high attention to animal welfare that the sector refines year after year.


It should not be forgotten that modern poultry farming aims to make food available that is simultaneously healthy, nutritious and affordable to most. All over the world. It is also necessary to reflect on the fact that it is precisely the quest to obtain both economic returns and low costs for the consumer from this type of enterprise that produces a steady increase in animal welfare that should be seen as a collateral (and little known) positive effect

Animal welfare in poultry farming is generated because the quality of care and solutions, designed to increase animal welfare standards, if they are certainly motivated by the need to make it profitable to devote oneself to it, also result in unwilling allies of the animal/environmentalists themselves, for the simple fact that the need to have ‘healthy and fit’ animals obliges the sector to study solutions that, being geared to balance economically, are consequently inclined to keep the animal healthy and thus to act for its welfare.

Not only that.

Poultry farming is an area where sustainability aspects are unfortunately only known among insiders, who are more focused on doing than saying.

A sustainability that is paradoxically put at risk precisely by environmentalist and animal rights ideologies, which are understandable and respectable, but conducted with hostile approaches and often with a certain form of ill-concealed cowardice highlighted by the fact that these organised groups, motivated by even positive intentions, do not build direct paths of dialogue with the real protagonists of the sector, but rather with intermediate users (processors, large-scale retail trade, restaurant chains, …).

For some time, the hostilities between animal/environmentalists and the poultry industry have been struggling to be resolved due to the clash between science and ideology. In both spheres, the approach seems deaf to each other’s demands when in fact much more progress could be made if a dialogue could be built that is aware of the limitations and shortcomings, present on both sides, with the aim of finding new effective sustainable formulas.

For the time being, animal rights activists, lacking scientific content and lacking vision, are seen by the poultry industry as an entity whose only real goal is to shut down all activities based on the exploitation of animals. Obviously, therefore, a defensive wall is set up on one side and, on the other side, this wall is simply seen as an obstacle.

Mediation is needed, and that is precisely why dialogue is needed.

These are issues that develop almost everywhere and are dealt with in different ways in other countries. For example, where there is evidence of destructive and irrational overkill by organisations, some governments intervene. In Australia for example:


Let us therefore discover the paradoxes mentioned in the title at this link


The Editorial Board of M.A.C.