On Eggs and Polar Bears
Did you see that Catherine Price of The New York Times "Sort[ed] Through the Claims of the Boastful Egg" for us last week, then Tara Parker-Hope "Unscrambl[ed] the Egg" a couple of days later? Parker-Hope writes:
And what about “cage free” — that sounds like a pretty happy bird to me. As it turns out, a cage-free chicken is kept out of the cage, but it doesn’t necessarily go outside. And a “free range” egg-layer isn’t necessarily roaming the range either. So what’s the term to look for if you want eggs from a happy, free-living bird? ” Look for “animal welfare approved,” a new label by the Animal Welfare Institute that is given only to independent family farmers.
Glad that’s all cleared up.
Did you see Polar Bears Against Palin? Check out the Point/Counterpoint that uses an op-ed Palin wrote in January for The New York Times. Very Daily Show-ish. Funny.
Not so funny was a Today Show segment yesterday that included women who were undecided and (because they?) liked the idea of Sarah Palin. I have just one question: If you like the idea of Sarah Palin, why are you undecided? She’s not undecided at all about what she wants for this country. Either you want what she wants or you don’t, no?
I don’t get it.
Thanks for the shout-out; we were really pleased with the New York Times article and have had a surge of interest from farmers AND consumers. One of the questions we're getting the most is "Where can I find Animal Welfare Approved eggs?" Many of the farmers you visit at the farmers market would qualify but don't yet know about the label–or don't realize that it's free! So if you know a farmer who raises their birds in small flocks on pasture, please let them know about the free program and accreditation. Thanks again for posting this and keep up the good work!
I suppose this is what happens when your attempt at sarcasm is directed to a small, insider community. If Emily were to ever return, I'd explain that I was joking with "Glad that's all cleared up" and that I don't advocate the consumption of the menstrual secretions of any species, including chickens and humans. I would also direct her to the free-range myth at Peaceful Prairie (http://www.peacefulprairie.org/freerange1.html) and to The Humane Myth (http://www.humanemyth.org).
There are hundreds of studies the industry conducts trying to validate the "happiness" of the chicken by the "quantity/quality" of the eggs they are laying. But eggs are just part of the natural occurring reproductive cycle of the female birds… Unfortunate for them, they will "produce" no matter what conditions they are kept in.
Basing bird "happiness" or "welfare" on the egg product is like saying since women in gulags and concentration camps continued to menstruation, they were in sufficient health & spirit.
Happy birds are free to exercise their instincts to dust bathe, lay in the sun, scratch, peck, forage and to preen…as they desire. And if we're really talking about "humane" standards… the hens would not be executed if their "production" declined. But we all know this. All the rest, "cage-free", "free-range", "natural"… is all malarkey.