Op-ed: Why we should kick Aramark off campus

Source: Jamie Berger, The Daily Tarheel, October 10, 2016

When I graduated from UNC three years ago, I was proud to have helped build a strong relationship between socially conscious students and Carolina Dining Services. As a representative from the student group FLO (Fair, Local, Organic) Food, I met with CDS, including several employees from Aramark, UNC’s dining service provider, on a regular basis for several semesters. Together, we worked to add healthier, more sustainable food options to the dining halls. Our collaboration also led to the dramatic expansion of the on-campus farmers’ market, which continues to be an enormously popular event. That’s why it saddens me, perhaps more than any other student past or present, to say that I’m now joining a growing movement of students and alumni across the country urging our universities’ administrators to kick Aramark off campus. … Currently, Aramark does not have a single policy in place to protect the chickens in its supply chain. As a result, chickens endure endless agony on Aramark’s supplier farms. Birds on these farms are confined inside filthy, windowless sheds and forced to stand atop accumulated waste that burns their eyes and lungs with ammonia fumes. The barren environment offers them few opportunities to engage in natural behaviors. … An even crueler fate awaits the animals who survive this abuse. At the slaughterhouse, they’re thrown upside down into metal shackles, electrocuted, slit at the throat, and then scalded in hot water. Many birds endure this entire process while still alive and able to feel pain. No animal deserves this torture. Chickens are intelligent and sensitive; they have individual personalities just like dogs and cats. They can learn their names, form close bonds with their family members and human companions, and can even perform simple arithmetic. …