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Free Range Food SPIN currently occurring in the UK

November Rain

Single Mother
Sep 27, 2005
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Over the course of this year in the UK, there has been at least 6 different programmes so far that have been broadcast detailing the standards of general battery farm housing or dealing with the slaughtering practices and standards.

It's overall game plan i believe is to get public awareness out there in order to change the legislation of the land to make some of these practices either illegal or to a higher standard.

The main focus of these arguments were on the production of battery farm chickens in comparison to free range chickens.

They showed that the battery farm chickens were produced more economically in a smaller space, were less likely to get diseased and made it to market quicker. The downside was the state of the animals and their living conditions (legally allowing 17 chickens to occupy a space of one metre squared). These birds were not even allowed natural sunlight

This allowed the economy price of chickens we see everywhere and allows a large chicken to be purchased for under £3.

The main benefit of the free range chicken was the space and lifestyle of the bird before slaughter as well as being able to roam freely (NOTE: free range chickens does not automatically mean organic but this was what was implied during the programme). This freedom meant that a lot of the birds were not making market weight and even the ones that did took about a week longer to do so. Some of the birds also were killed by picking up natural infections from being out in the wild. ALso based on this there weren't as many birds being released to meet consumer demands.

Based on this (as well of the price for a clean consumer conscience) These birds cost more.


The point of this programme was inevitably to make the consumer feel guilty for not purchasing the free range chickens.

As expected, the driving force of a consumer's decision in the test area was based purely on them all coming from areas were the local wage was borderline on slave labour and they simply couldn't afford to have a moral conscience yet they were made to feel completely responsible for their actions.

Another point they failed to make during the point of this programme is that it is actually the fault of the supermarkets for this problem.

When a farmer is only getting payed like 3p for every bird delivered by a supermarket, it drives the majority of them to also consider battery farming simply from a logistics point of view since free range farming can't produce the bulk required to fund a sustainable living. Not only this but to harvest the same number of birds in a free range environment would increase their efforts considerably and the amount of land (to produce chickens to meet the demand) required isn't physically available.

ON the tv experiments, they reared over 400 birds in the battery farm while the free range experiment only showcased how life would be with just 50 birds, it wasn't particularly a fair comparison.

Ultimately I think if the ethical region of something should really come into play, then the supermarkets should make free range and organic produce the same price (for a short period of time) to see how this truelly affects sales and to see how much input they actually are having in the country's eating habbits.

Free range farmers should also be subsidies for their work ethics, especially those who also practice completely organically.

The description of a free range chicken should also come into question and some chickens that are actually lived the majority of their lives as battery hens can be classified as free range as long as they have spent a small duration of their lives roaming free, hence also giving a false representation to the customers.

Overall i believe that the supermarkets have caused this problem, bleeding both the customers and the farmers dry at both ends in order to maximise their profits by forcing bad habbits on both sides for the sake of morality.

The supermarkets shouldn't overcharge better pratice conditions as luxury items. They also shouldn't force down the prices of bulk food items in order to maximise profits from a regular intake of customers (forcing prices down to get rival business). They also shouldn't extort the farmers by making them take on unethical practices by slashing profits and margins of their hard labour.

In all, the average dude shouldn't be made to feel guilty for the actions of others.


i'll stop here, i won't even start on the egg farming industry.
eggyman supports this thread :up:

If my father and my mother, Sam and Ella, had had better conditions, I'm sure they would've been slaughtered with smiles on their faces :)


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