Friday, 19 October 2007

Chicken out!

Another food post I know, the knitting is suffering because I've gone WIP mad and can't stop casting on new things. Next post will be knitting, I promise!

I wanted to draw your attention to the River Cottage 'Chicken Out!' campaign. At the risk of being dismissed for biased vegetarian propaganda there's a few facts below for you to think on, but I really urge you to visit the Chicken Out website to sign and register your support. These guys are total grass roots carnivores so take it from them if not me!

The average Brit eats almost 25 kilos of chicken a year, and of these hundreds of millions of chickens, most of them - more than 95% - are reared inside, produced in industrial conditions in vast, enclosed sheds. In fact, this intensive poultry production is so slick and efficient that chicken is actually cheaper now than it was 20 years ago.

Standard chickens are now grown from newly hatched chick to oven-ready bird in an astonishing 39 days, which is half the time it took 40 years ago under less intensive conditions. Regardless of whether you're interested in animal welfare, how can that meat be good quality?? You get what you pays for! The aim of the Chicken Out campaign is to ask people to vote with their shopping baskets so to speak and go free range.

Birds commonly develop severe problems associated with unnaturally fast weight gain and restricted movement, and many die prematurely: 45 million factory-farmed birds are thrown away each year before they even reach slaughter-weight. If nothing else, that's just a shocking waste of food!


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