Sometimes I feel pretty guilty about being a meat eater. I mean, to be honest, I only eat chicken and beef and the occasional pork. I morally object to lamb and game meat. I bloody love seafood though.
I have some incredible, strong vegan friends who talk all the time about how easy it is to get all the vitamins you need from veggie and vegan products. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE animals- more than humans most of the time- but oh how I love the taste of a steak when it melts on my tongue.
I feel that maybe I’m not alone in my hypocrisy. It’s hard to be a completely selfless being, right? But one thing I can suggest is that you have a scan over the info I’ve compiled if you feel like being a little gentler to our delicious friends, and giving them a better life before they end up on the plate.
The cheapest chickens you can buy are kept in total confinement. This is what it looks like:
Chickens will be kept in artificially lit, tight spaces for the 6 – 8 weeks it takes for them to reach 3kgs. At which time they are slaughtered. Often they are fed extra hormones to induce rapid growth and can be killed in as little as 30 days.
They never see the sun, feel the air on their backs or walk further than a few centimetres at a time. Often, they grow so fast they struggle to walk at all and live in their own waste.
Don’t worry, there is another way.
This is what a free range farm looks like.
Yes, it costs the farmers more and takes longer to run a farm like this. This cost is passed on to us. How much?
Firstly, let me explain that there is a different between RSPCA approved chicken and free range chicken.
RSPCA approved chicken farms in Australia look like this.
The chickens have more room, and are less likely to be extensively treated with hormones, but they still live in artificial light and never experience the outdoors or fresh grass.
What’s the cost? You ask. Currently on Woolworths’ website RSPCA approved chicken is selling at $13 per kilogram.
How much is free range chicken? $14.
It costs us an extra $1 to take chickens from hell to heaven. That’s a lot of power in $1, and in our hands.
I googled free range chicken farm and found three within a half an hour drive of my house. There is so much product out there, and our local farmers need our support. Buy smart, and tell our local shops what it is we want. Free range is better for them, and better for us. In fact, there is literally no downside.
Just throwing it out there, if you buy caged eggs you’re scum. Harsh? Nah. Look at what you’re condoning for the sake of less than $1.
Ironically this article is trying to sing the praises of cage eggs. Let me just highlight that the comparisons they are making are to intensive free range. In Australia, there is no specific guidelines to what ‘free range’ has to consist of, so its super important that we get familiar with the brands and support local farmers. Ideally, if we could go to a local farm and pick some up from a drop box, that would be great! But pressed for time, look for the term ‘pastured’ on the box. A PROOF certification means the hens are taken care of, and so are your eggs!
‘Compared to eggs from caged hens, pastured hen eggs had twice as much vitamin E and long-chain omega-3 fats, 2.5 fold more total omega-3 fatty acids, and less than half the ratio of omega-6:omega-3 fatty acids.’
Of course, our dear cows are going through some pretty horrendous things.
Always look for RSPCA, farmers own milk when you’re checking out the fridge. Every little investment we make in smaller farms with better practices, the more the big ones have to listen.
Or just switch to a non dairy equivalent like I did! Soy goes alright once you’re used to it 😉
Finally, I come to one that I have harped on about for years.
This is Popi.
She’s my daughter.
Here she is hanging out and having a wee. Like mother like daughter.
I adopted her when I was in Bali in May, having just met a couple of orphans at the zoo.
I was so conflicted this day, because I was so glad these babies were safe, but how happy can these incredible, intelligent creatures be in captivity?
The deforestation of South East Asia is destroying their home. The trees they need to survive are getting ripped from the ground at a rapid rate to match our need for beauty products and snacks soaked in palm oil and the blood of a dying species.
STOP! Stop buying things because they are 50c cheaper. Look a little deeper. Think about the consequences of your actions. It’s not good for you and we don’t need it, it’s just cheaper to produce than economically sourced alternatives.
If you want to help, here is the link to the incredible Orangutan Project. They run a forest school for displaced orangutans and hope to return them all to the wild one day, if there’s some left. Many of them are babies and have to be hand-reared. It is my dream to one day volunteer with these incredible humans. I’d rather shovel orangutan poop than sit by and do nothing.
Every penny goes a long way, but your conscious shopping will do the most.
Always read the label.
I know we can do it. I have the utmost faith in human beings and our compassion. I see it every single day. If we could spread it to our dinner tables, just imagine what we can achieve.
Thank you for reading, and thank you for caring ❤️