An Icelandic student who worked on a factory farm for chickens reported conditions that she described as “disgusting” and cruel.
Margrét Gunnarsdóttir, in a letter she wrote to Vísir, described her time working on a factory farm for chickens in Iceland one winter evening:
“The first thing I saw in the [chicken shelter] was a heap of dead birds in a corner, in the same area as living birds. The smell that met us was so strong that it burned my throat. After half an hour, I had to go outside and throw up from all the ammonia.”
She reported that she and the others working there tried to round all the chickens up into one side of the shelter, and that “dead and dying” chickens were left in their wake, foundering in excrement. Shortly thereafter, the chickens were forced 11 at a time into boxes, which other workers then stacked on top of each other. She witnessed several birds badly maimed in the process of this sorting, and Margrét went back outside shortly thereafter to throw up again, “both from how disgusting it was, and from the ammonia poisoning.”
Margrét ended her letter with a cautionary message to Icelandic consumers:
“Chicken and pork that is sold in stores in this country are, in every case, from factory farms where animals are brought in only to suffer under disastrous conditions their entire lives. It is not better here in Iceland than in other places. I refuse to believe that people want to support such a method of production, and it is possible to have an influence by boycotting these products, are reducing their purchase significantly.”
Below is a video of a factory farm for chickens in Australia, which Margrét says is “exactly the same” as how chickens are treated in Iceland.