Worker arrange trays of recently hatched yellow chicks as they move along a conveyor belt at the Chelny-Broiler poultry farm, operated by ZAO Agrosila Group, in Naberezhnye Chelny, Russia, on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015. Russia's $1.1 trillion economy contracted the most since 2009 in the second quarter amid an oil and currency rout exacerbated by tit-for-tat sanctions against the European Union and the U.S. that prompted a ban on imports from French cheese to Polish cabbage. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg (Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg)

I hope the Dec. 7 Metro article "10 poultry-farm workers fired after video surfaces" wakes up readers to the reality of modern chicken farms. The video from Compassion Over Killing depicts standard industry behavior. The cruelty to the chickens in the video is business as usual.

Some people believe we are moving in the direction of “humane meat” and “animal-friendly” agriculture as we become better informed of the realities of industrialized animal production practices. However, a global decline in industrialized animal farming is not going to happen as long as billions of people buy and consume animal products.

The idea of a golden age of compassionate animal farming that could somehow be reclaimed and modernized is misplaced. A look at the books — volumes of historical poultry-keeping literature at the National Agricultural Library in Beltsville for example — dispels all vestiges of belief in humane poultry farming in any era. Every cruelty in today’s industry is rooted in the past.

The growing interest in animal-free “meat” and plant protein is extremely encouraging. If there is going to be progress, this is where the action is.

Karen Davis, Machipongo, Va.

The writer is president of United Poultry Concerns.