Easter Eggs

I thought about eggs alot on Easter Sunday.  And not just the chocolate ones.  I’m very passionate about eggs and decided that it was time for a serious post.  A post on why we should never eat cage eggs.  And then last night on a sunday night program the plight of meat chooks was raised and I knew this post had to be written.  This ain’t gonna be a fun post so feel free to log off now.

The program last night focussed on the issues of humanity.  Do you want to eat chickens that were borne solely to be killed so that we can eat them?  A life with no purpose other than fast growth for human consumption.  And a life lived in a stressful, crowded, dirty environment with no sunlight, no fresh air and the odd dead carcass in the room. Now I’m a softie and a bit silly about animals but I’m sure that most humans living in developed nations like Australia have had a meaningful relationship with an animal.  If you’ve ever loved a dog, cat, horse, guinea pig etc. please have a thought about chickens.

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These were my first three hens, bought as day old chicks in 2006.  The top hen was brave, friendly and really funny.  She looked after her little flock, going so far as to peck my dog on the head if he ever got too close.  She’d puff herself up, hold out her wings and charge him.  A quick peck on the head and he’d back off terrified. They were fun to watch from a comfortable spot on the back deck and great company whenever I did some gardening.  I quickly learnt that each bird had her own personality and they expressed a range of reactions (maybe not emotions?).  To see a hen totally blissed out having a dust bath and lying on her side in the sunshine.  Or the squawk of joy when catching a fat worm.  So in return for the beautiful eggs they produced for me I felt that they deserved a life that would be deemed good for a chook.

This is Pineapple, one of my current hens.  She’s the best looker I’ve ever owned and cannot be contained.  I’ve clipped her wings as low as you can go, but still she can fly.  So she often flies over to the neighbours for some nice grass or goes next door to set up a secretive nest. This chook won’t lay eggs in a nesting box, of no, she has a need for secretive spots where hopefully her eggs will remain hidden.  And once you discover her nest (often with over a dozen eggs in it), she will move it to the next secret location.

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So perhaps you don’t give a s..t about the life of a chook, so may we begin a discussion about health.  Cheap chicken is shit chicken.  I’ve said it, thats just my opinion.  Now when humans want to be healthy they eat good food, exercise, sleep enough, get fresh air, learn how to manage stress etc.  And this effort results in a body that hopefully has some lean muscle, strong bones, not too much fat and is disease free.  So  what about the health of birds that are overfed a diet of processed feed, never get to stretch their wings or run around, that live in an artificially lit environment and are constantly stressed?  They are obese and would probably die young of disease if they were allowed to live beyond 6 weeks of age.  I know that I don’t want to eat obese, unhealthy chicken meat.  The risk of meat borne poisoning are so much higher too when animals are crowded, living in their own excrement and their flesh has wounds/skin ulcers etc. on it.  As do these mass produced birds.

So please have a think about 2 things (sorry for being so preachy today, I promise my next post will be light hearted) – don’t support cage eggs, buying those cheap eggs keeps the industry alive and they are probably crappy eggs.  The chickens live a crappy life so their eggs can’t be anything but crappy.  For the sake of a couple of dollars, it just isn’t worth it.  And finally, if you can, please buy less cheap chicken.  I realise that not every one can afford free range or organic chicken, but if you ate less of the cheap shit, producers wouldn’t need to produce so much of it. The stats on tv last night stated that the average person eats 1kg of chicken per week.  Yikes, no wonder so many people have chronic disease.

Happy Easter and enjoy some chocolate xx

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