1000 Flowers for the Planet - #512 Insist on Only 1,500 Chooks Per Hectare
Buying eggs is a tricky thing these days when you really want to do the right thing by the birds that provide all those lovely eggs for us to enjoy. The packaging on the egg carton is a minefield and understanding the phrases they use is important. Animal cruelty is becoming a more important issue to people and we no longer agree with factory farming. Battery farming is factory farming for chickens, where the chickens are kept in tiny cages in which they cannot even turn around. Barn laid eggs come from chickens that are kept in barns in very large numbers so they are unable to move anyway and that’s not much different from battery farming, except the chickens are able to peck each other more easily. So farmers are gradually being compelled to keep their chickens in better conditions and the new buzz phrase is “free range” which is supposed to mean that the chickens are kept in open fields where they can run around to their hearts’ content, feed on grass and enjoy the sunshine, but farmers still want to produce more and more and more, so they cram thousands of chickens into the one field. In fact the truth about free range in Australia is horrifying. “The Egg Corporation admits that a third of eggs labelled as free range are from intensive farms, some with 40,000 and even up to 100,000 hens per hectare.” [ source: http://www.freerangefarmers.com.au/hen-welfare.html] It’s a sad truth. So we need to keep fighting for the welfare of chickens by demanding producer only keep 1,500 chickens per hectare, the limit set by the Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals, and label their packaging correctly. Do the right thing – read the carton, check the information and put pressure on farmers to stop animal cruelty, now.