Watched “Hugh’s Chicken Run” last night (the first of three programmes about organically reared poultry versus the intensively farmed variety) and I fear I may never eat supermarket chicken again. I know when I eat meat I eat something that lived and breathed not too long ago, but how that animal lived and died matter to me. I knew battery farming wasn’t so great – but in a few random scenes, my view of the intensive process has deteriorated. The enforced survival of the most profitable situation that results in the premature execution of injured or sickly birds by broken neck really bothered me – and I suspect it will get more distressing as the birds get older.
To live and grow under such pressure and in such squalor for less than 6 weeks – have we grown so heartless and indifferent to the lives of the animals around us. I’m reminded of the title of the book recording the last interviews with Philip K. Dick – ‘What If Our World Is Their Heaven?‘ What if he was right? And, even if not, do we have a right to make the short lives of these farm animals so damned unpleasant simply to feed our already distended bellies?