Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Hugh's Chicken Run

I can't actually watch this programme (on tonight) because it would absolutely kill me, but I saw Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (that's a mouthful) on Richard and Judy advertising this show where he sets up his own intensive chicken farm.
Why! I couldn't watch even the clip, but even with my eyes closed I could still hear the poor crippled chicken being put down and it made me cry. He said he felt sad about it, but he didn't HAVE to do that. If he wanted to see how intensive farming worked, he could have snuck in, put on a disguise, got someone else a job at a farm undercover. It seems to me that a lot of chefs LIKE killing animals, and like eating exotic types of animals as well.
The people who work in the battery farm environment are inhuman. I have no sympathy for farmers losing money- they make money from killing. I don't believe 'meat is murder' (mainly because the other line is 'death for no reason is murder' and that's not true either) but it is still morally abhorrent to kill another living creature. I couldn't do it. Free range is obviously a million times better, bu I don't subscribe to this 'but they had a good life' theory either. I could have a good life living on a farm, and still be disgruntled by the end of it being punctuated by my trusted carer snapping my neck.
BUT I'm not a vegetarian. In fact, chicken is my favourite food. I haven't got a leg to stand on, except to say I only eat ten things and chicken is the healthiest thing I eat. I have masses of respect for vegetarians like my brother. I think it is endlessly brave.
I'd like to hear other people's impressions of this show but Richard was right, there is something of the concentration camp about battery farming, so I can't watch. I'm shamed to say my head will remain in the sand.
Buy free range if you can. In the future no one will eat meat. But it's a way off.


Anonymous said...

Free range is a million times better, if it wasn't for all that H5N1 Avian Influenza nonsense.

Farmers killing chickens? Preposterous!
I eat them live!

lightupvirginmary said...

I thought farmers just had the animals as pets (and occasional sexual partners) ;-)

* (asterisk) said...

It's a good show, and although I had reservations about Hugh setting up his own battery farm, he really does seem to have done it only as a last resort, and he clearly really hates it. I buy free range. Occasionally organic. For me, it's the only choice.

I despair of people who moan they can't afford it and then smoke 40 fags a day and play ten lines on the lottery twice a week.

It's been a good show. Disturbing at times, of course, but more head-shakingly unbelievable due to the fact that no one from the supermarkets (unsurprisingly) will even meet with him on camera to discuss better chicken-farming conditions.

Watch the last one tonight. Go on.

lightupvirginmary said...

It depends- will there be scenes of animal cruelty?
I know what you mean about people who smoke/ do the lottery. In fact my mum is always pleading poverty despite doing both!

* (asterisk) said...

It depends what you call animal cruelty. I mean, it's nothing like the video Red posted a link to yesterday, but yes you might see a chicken getting its neck snapped or birds being cooped up at a rate of 17 per square metre. Horrible, yes, but I think as meat eaters we owe it to ourselves to see this stuff and make the necessary amendments to our own food habits, if indeed we feel we should.

lightupvirginmary said...

But the only way I can justify eating meat is by pretending it just comes in a packet. i don't eat anything that actually looks like meat. I don't eat ribs, or any of the icky bits. If I had to kill an animal myself, I never could. I am the ultimate hypocritical meat eater.
But I do feel really guilty.
It's not quite enough though.