I would also like to make it clear, that this is NOT a political statement; it is just a personal epiphany that I'm sharing.
While at knitting on Saturday, somehow the subject of chickens, eggs, and the treatment of animals in industrialized food came up. (We have a very deep and knowledgeable knitting group.) I think that the subject came up because of an episode of Bones, where there was a murder connected to a cage-free chicken facility.
Andrew and I had watched the episode together ("The Tough Man in the Tender Chicken") not long after we had
Free range eggs cost 5 times as much as regular eggs, for those of you who are comparison shoppers. I do not share the Cordelia Chase philosophy of "I don't want it because it's more expensive, I want it because it costs more." There needs to be a good reason to pay more.
I couldn't tell any difference in the flavor or quality of the eggs, and I felt like it was a waste of money. (After all, I eat a lot of eggs.) Andrew, who was in charge of egg-collecting for his mother's hen house lo those many years ago, felt differently. For the record, Andrew has no love of chickens, either.
While I don't care for chickens, I do love dogs, and the idea of stuffing an animal in a crate to live out it's life until slaughter is abominable. Especially a crate that is too small.
|A chicken, free-ranging around the Retzlaff Winery. It's probably a wino, but I would be, too, if I lived there.|
Back to Bones. They showed cage-free chickens, and it was chickens moseying around (as best as a chicken can mosey when kept wall-to-wall). I pointed out that while this wasn't ideal, it also wasn't terrible. (It's a gross episode, and in a Fast Food Nation kind of way.) That's when Andrew pointed out the difference between cage-free and free-range.
To be honest, I didn't really think about it after that. When we were talking about industrialized chickens, Laura'nge talked in depth about the conditions. It made me ill.
Usually, I just move on and think about other things, but the conversation stuck with me. I thought about it all night, and into Sunday.
So, here is my (albeit predictable) decision: we will be buying free-range eggs. Not because they taste better, not because they're more economical, but because it's the right thing to do.
...And I don't want to keep chickens. Just like how I have agreed to not bring home dirty fleeces, Andrew has declared that we will never keep chickens. It may have been in our vows.