Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The Parsons Nose

Odd creatures, chickens. They're really just egg and protein factories put on this earth to enable us humans to stuff our faces with chicken nuggets on a regular basis. The omellette is the ultimate fast food and can be stuffed with whatever takes yer fancy.
I watched a documentary on supermarket chickens last week. These are the industrially produced variety which are pumped full of growth hormones. They put on breast meat so quickly that their legs can't support their weight. They stagger around in agony in their own faeces and suffer ammonia burns that leave livid marks on their flesh.
We allow a creature to be raised in conditions of abject misery just so that we can buy packaged chicken for a derisory £2.50. It is criminal: not only do we cause needless suffering to a sentient animal, we also ensure that the finished product is utterly tasteless. The saturated fat level is also higher, so we are condemning ourselves to obesity and coronary heart disease into the bargain.
I only buy free range chickens from the supermarket, although I must admit that there isn't much difference in taste. My mental image of 'free range' chickens is one of happy little clucking peckers scuttling around the barnyard and facing down the farm cat. I'm sure that the reality is nothing of the sort.
The problem with this kind of ethical food purchasing is that it can't be practised 100%. I like my Chinese and Indian takeaways, and am not averse to a plastic wrapped chicken sandwich. All this food will contain broiler chicken meat; there is no escaping the stuff. I have had to settle for the good old British compromise of doing my ethical best as long as it doesn't inconvenience me too much. It's hypocrisy really; but what can you do.
n.b I typed 'ugly chicken' into a google image search and up popped Drew Barrymore. Why so?


Herge Smith said...

Dunno why Barrymore - but I'l say this - there are no moral absolutes in the world - so, like you I do what I can within my budget and my 'can be arsed' level.

It is criminal how we not only treat animals but how we value each animals life so differently - dogs and cats at the top - stuff we eat way down the list.

Probably why we haven't be visited by aliens - probably think we're too fucked up a species to bother with, and they wouldn't be wrong.

garfer said...

The Vietnamese are big on roasted dog. It's all down to cultural mores really.
If you're going to kill and eat things there really shouldn't be distinctions. Pigs for inst are highly intelligent. They are so genetically similar to us that we can use their insulin. It's cannibalism really.

Herge Smith said...

And all that stuff about pigs hosting transplantable organs.

Look! I've a pigs willy!!

Be a distinct improvement, if I'm honest.

garfer said...

Apparently boars have been more blessed in the willy department.
You could try one of those for size.

MHN for short said...

Thank goodness that you guys didn't stay serious. ;-)

garfer said...

Only vegetarians and vegans are serious. It's hard to work up a fit of the giggles over a plate of lentils.

Sniffy said...

I hate the idea of farmed animals, but I like meat too much to give it up. I suppose organic is one option, but it's difficult to persuade my ageing parents to spend that bit extra.

I could just stick to game, so long as its hung properly of course.

garfer said...

Next time I knock down a stag I'll post it to you in a jiffy bag.

MHN for short said...

There so serious because they don't have enough vitamin B (I think that's the one you get from beef and chicken...)

Get into WARRIOR MODE: Eat Raw MEAT!!!!

I used to tell that to the middle school kids when they were playing soccer. Get agressive! Eat Raw Meat!! Urgh!!!! I loved watching those kids play "cluster ball"! :-)