Sunday, July 27, 2008

I Am Not A Nugget! Chicken Are People Too

I've been thinking a lot about chickens lately. I stopped eating them a long time ago, but recent reports and Jamie Oliver's Fowl Dinners program has made me want to do more to help the poor little things.

I've read that about 50% of eggs labeled as "free range" are actually from caged birds because there is apparently no legal definition of "free range" that the egg farmers have to comply with, so they charge more for the eggs that caring consumers are buying, and still give the chickens a terrible life.

This weekend I have been trying to contact people whose job it is to handle these issues - the government. I have emailed the Hon Ian Macdonald MLC - Minister for Primary Industries NSW ( and the Hon Tony Burke MP, Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry ( I have also contacted the Department of Fair Trading in the hopes that they will care that consumers are being sold eggs that are labeled in a misleading way.

The next step is trying to find out which eggs are actually free range. I can't find a list anywhere, except the recommendation to buy from grower's or organic markets as they are more likely to be eggs from small local farmers.

I have also bought Alec, his mum (who is a chicken lover) and myself tees from PETA that have a chicken friendly message on them - "happy families, not happy meals". I thought it was about time that I started to wear my heart on my sleeve about the animal issues I'm really passionate about. I also bought the PETA black singlet top, shown below - if the tees are nice and fit well, I am considering buying more.

In the past I haven't spoken up much about the animals causes I'm interested in out of a concern that I would make other people around me uncomfortable and have them then either avoid me or make fun of me because I haven't been a vegetarian for a very long time. I realised this week hat what matters is that that I speak up for those who can't, so expect to see more post like this on my blog in the future.

You can read more about the short lives of chickens at the Animals Australia site Free Betty, or on the RSPCA website.

1 comment:

TheFragrantElf said...

I am very wary of the 'free range' eggs I buy at the supermarket now. I definitely want to know which ones truly are free range. I might check at Macro when I'm next there, maybe they are more conscious.