Why can’t the chicken cross the road?

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I happened to hear a little thing on the radio today that disturbed me.

It wasn’t that I didn’t know this fact before, more that today the gravity of the situation really hit home.

I’m not a vegetarian.

The guy in the radio interview had been granted permission and free-reign to explore two egg producing barn environments – one free range and one caged.

The caged egg layers – let’s call them CHICKENS because that’s what they are – were healthy looking with no missing feathers. The chickens inhabiting and laying in the barn were less so with the occasional peck mark, bold patch and sad eyes (I assume). Apparently pecking each other to death is a thing. I say apparently as if that’s news to me too but it isn’t. I’ve seen free-range happy-as-you-like chickens gang up on each other. If they don’t like you, you won’t live.  Chicken justice. Still, it isn’t nice to watch.

But it wasn’t the reality of the barn environment that got to me today.

No.

Today it was the fact that the chickens in the cages, the happy (well, they looked happy – can chickens act?) fully feathered, non peck marked chickens in the cages could not walk.

The chickens can’t cross the road because their legs don’t work.

Their legs don’t work because they don’t walk anywhere.

Their leg muscles have not had a chance to develop.

The reporter and the chicken farmer agreed on the need to produce cheap eggs and that caged chickens were the best way to achieve that thus brushing off, making light of the fact that the chickens can’t walk.

I have one question and one question only following this and it is as follows:

How fucked up are we to live in a world where we accept and require chickens to be put in cages that don’t allow them to move or develop properly because people can’t actually afford eggs produced without cruelty?

Ok I lied I have two questions.

What is wrong with our economy to make that level of cruel in-humanity non-remarkable and necessary?

I know there are lots of things to be worried about with the world right now but seriously, let’s start with the little things and stop doing this.

Because chickens should at least be allowed the dignity to be able to cross the road.

And in a world where obesity is the fastest growing disease surely everybody should be able to afford to eat.

What a cruel world.

 

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