Erm, Gentlemen?

The RSPCA has called on retailers to stop selling meat from chickens reared in poor conditions. The charity, based at Horsham, West Sussex, has urged supermarkets to sell only free-range, organic or Freedom Food varieties by 2010, and has set up an online petition. It says that shoppers should pay more to ensure that standards improve and that the low prices in supermarkets mean that some farmers cannot earn enough money to provide suitable conditions.

So, supermarkets should rig the market so that farmers receive more money? Umm, we are all aware that they\’ve just been fined hundreds of milions of pounds for doing that very thing with the milk and dairy market, are we? So, do we get to see the RSPCA fined this time for conspiracy to defraud the public?

3 thoughts on “Erm, Gentlemen?”

  1. The welfare issues are important – I only buy free range poultry and pork, so this is something I agree with. But the answer is to persuade other people that intensive husbandry is morally disgusting, and that they should vote with their wallets, not to try to distort the market from the top down – which will just slew off a load of unintended consequences.

  2. Free Range chickens are the most ‘ungreen’ meat, Barn-raised is only a little bit better — battery farming is the greenest method overall.

    Of course, the greenest method of all is to raise the chickens (or rabbits) in your backyard, but the RSPCA would no doubt get upset at that too.

  3. As I’ve said before, in a chicken and mushroom pie, the mushrooms have only slightly less cognitive capability than the chicken. It’s by no means clear what being ‘cruel’ to a chicken actually entails. If measurements of stress hormones are anything to go by, it appears that your average chicken is a hopelessly neurotic beast whether it be confined to a battery cage or allowed to peck about in an apple orchard.

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