Cosy Chickens

There have been a series of small protests in Brisbane this week to highlight the suffering endured by hundreds of millions of broiler chickens every year in Australia.  The protests are being held to coincide with the World Poultry Congress being hosted in town. The industry responded by saying they are better than the industry standard, as most sheds only have 18 chickens living in each square metre. Very spacious.

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  1. Andrew: It seems that there is even less interest in “chicken rights” on this blog than was apparent at the Brisbane Convention Centre’s Poultry Congress (where 10 chicken advocates pretended to feast on chicken – how does one feign chicken ingestion?)

    I think Animal Liberation’s Ms Stephenson said it all; “consumers have a choice to make at their supermarket shelf“. Not unlike many other consumer decisions, a majority (though not all), will protect their hip pocket by seeking the most value.

    Viva le poulet rôti!

  2. Sometimes it’s so hard not to become cynical and despondent to issues like these when many of the organisations that are supposed to protect (or at least claim to protect) animals are so apathetic and scared of upsetting animal industries. The disparity between “cute” and “food” becomes more and more hypocritical – it’s okay to eat a cow, but not a dog?

    As for industry standards, they are a joke. Recently I was talking with a scientist about guinea pigs – I have been involved with guinea pig rescues and the scientist had been involved with research carried out on guinea pigs. The scientist was saying that there was nothing that could be done to stop guinea pigs from eating or attacking each other – a vastly different view from my personal experience that if given enough space and treated well it doesn’t happen.

    Sorry, getting off on a bit of a tangent there, but what I’m trying to say is that while I don’t believe people should eat animals – if they must giving them decent conditions to live in can only be good for everybody.

  3. Ronnie: Re: “it’s okay to eat a cow, but not a dog”

    With respect to vegan readers, I’d have thought the comment is a little bit Anglo-centric. Remember, Australia now is a multicultural society (as our host recently hastened to point out in the housing thread).

    We tried dog, snake & a cute little rat in China, and concluded that there’s a reason we prefer beef & (dare I say) chicken. That said, it’s not my place to regulate a fellow citizen’s diet.

    I’d suggest we have three classes of life; human, animal and plant. One stands out above the rest, and if a vegetarian disagrees, I’d ask why plant life drew the short straw.

    Doubtless a chicken farm tour or an abattoir inspection would turn a few stomachs, but then given a little time to recover, it’s back to economic reality and the culinary pleasures of life.

  4. GZG:

    Was that a house Rat or a sewer rate ?
    How much this delicacy cost ?
    Do you think there is any chance of a Mac Rat Springing up in Australia
    (Being so multicutural you never know)


  5. While I appreciate that it’s probably not possible to validly compare the two situations, there was an intriguing story in the UK media last week comparing the transportation conditions of Londoners and chickens.

    Someone did some calculations (the validity of which I can’t vouch for), and found that putting the same number of chickens as there are humans on a tube train during rush hour would breach EU regulations to a fairly huge degree. As one of the many London commuters who has almost no choice but to catch the tube, and considering how much smaller chickens are than humans, A chicken transport truck sounds like it might be a great way to get to work.

  6. I think I largely agree with GZG on this one, except that it was my understanding that the eggs being sold (expensively) as free range eggs came from debeaked chooks living in crowded conditions in barns.

    According to someone connected with egg marketing, whom I saw on a cooking show, Australians apparently don’t eat too many eggs.

    Yet I think a problem must lie in keeping up production to meet demand – the same kind of problem the world has with grains.

    When I lived in Logan City more than 20 years ago, you couldn’t keep chooks in the backyard unless their enclosure was a minimum of 50 feet from the nearest house – which ruled the idea out in most suburban situations. Perhaps some local regulations need to change.

    Some years ago, my sister had 2 cats disappear within a very short space of time. She was convinced that someone from another country (Vietnam) had trapped them and eaten them.

    But I was wondering if they might also have been skinned and made into those “fake” toy cats you can buy at the Ekka and sometimes from traders in shopping centres. Both cats had beautiful coats.

    I think people should be considered important over and above any animal, but I don’t think people should feast upon or “make use” of anyone else’s pets.


    A human being can easily be up to 70 times larger than a chicken.

    It isn’t uncommon to be “sardine-canned” on a train right here in Brisbane during peak hours.

  7. Hmm! I think there’s room for some investigative journalism here.

    Communist orientals abduct beautifully coated cats – traded at local fair.

    And did the perpetrators really waste the meat (and was that really pork on my fork when I ordered the Thit heo quay at my favourite Vietnamese restaurant at Inala)?

    Mums & Dads – lock up your cats!

    (…. would you believe …. a story for an ACA report? )

  8. GZG:

    Yes, my sister definitely learned to keep a close eye on her cats. She only keeps ordinary moggies now, in the hope they will be less attractive, on the outside at least!

    Who knows what we are being sold?

    Many years ago, a northside franchise of an America chicken chain was accused of substituting southern fried cat!

    The drumstick on a chicken isn’t all that different in size from the upper and/or lower leg of a cat.

    In Canberra, one franchise sells chicken wings that look as if they came from eagles, but you definitely get good value for your money.

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