The other day I saw an article snippet on Facebook and after reading, I knew I had to do whatever possible to help people make decisions. So I reposted the article – See photo. If you haven’t read this article, Please read it.
My post sparked some conversation between my friends and one friend shared a link to shed light on what constitutes a “Free Range” environment.
So from what I’m reading, here are some definitions for you.
Cage Free: Not kept in small wire cages, instead they are in a chicken house with 1 square foot per chicken. The floor (which you can’t even see because of all the chickens) is covered in feces.
Free Range: Chickens have access to a door/outside. Even if this door is only open 5 minutes/day. Or Even if the chickens can’t figure out how to use it. Also there need not be ANY vegetation outside, gravel or sand is acceptable range.
Humane Environment: (Above) Conditions “meet or exceed industry animal welfare standards” according to a statement by Simple Truth in response to a complaint on Facebook.
Vegetarian Diet: A good clue that those chickens were deprived of their instinctual diet. In the wild chickens are omnivores – they like worms, seeds, greens, frogs, mice, and insects. These chickens may not have gotten all the protein and nutrients they needed.
So, in conclusion, the rules are too lenient when it comes to labeling our food. Some brands will use clever wording and these lenient definitions in order to sway you to pay more and choose their product despite the fact that it’s still inhumane factory-chicken. I’m just so angry to learn this. I have been spending more on ‘natural’ ‘cage free’ eggs and ‘free range’ chicken. When really it’s probably not any different than the cheap chicken. Coming from area huge in the chicken industry (chicken houses everywhere) I’m thinking this ‘fancy’ chicken is no different than the big name brand that’s processed here.
Seriously!? Here’s how chickens are meant to live! Free!
So what am I doing about it? What can you do?
Well you can boycott grocery store chicken and find a local farmer/source. Talk to them and learn about their farm and common practices. Maybe even tour the farm!? Find a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and ask for advice on where to find TRULY* humanely-raised free-range chicken and eggs. Support them instead. Every dollar is a vote. Also you could raise your own hens for eggs! That’s what I’d like to do. I also recently signed a local petition to allow chickens (hens) in our city limits.
Have you been scammed too? What’s your take on this? Comment below
* My definition of truly humanely-raised free-range chicken means that the chickens have ample roaming time (a few hours/day min) on grass or other vegetation. They have the option of sun or shade. They have shelter if they need it. When confined, they have a few feet of space each. Like these happy chickens above.