Friday, April 8, 2011

Life Pledge #1

The Proud Rooster in all his glory.

Today I formally pledge to purchase only Pasture Raised Chicken Eggs for the rest of my life.  I take this pledge seriously and have given it consideration over the last year.  A life pledge commitment can not be frivolous nor can it be spur of the moment.  It sounds like a relatively simple proposition given the current economic situation and the popularity of caring for your own chicken flock.  My only provision out is if some disaster happens and there is nothing else to eat to get protein or if I am put into a position where economically I have to buy the .79 a dozen carton.  Let's face it, some people have no other alternative or just go without - which is also a viable option.  Personally, I think it might be cheaper to just raise your own flock (and more fun for sure).
Ok, more lovely Roosters.
There are several "fancy" types of eggs sold now in groceries and most you pay a premium.  The true humane "stamp" on that carton of eggs is the "pasture raised" stamp.  There are a host of other marketing ploys that make you think your premium carton has been produced by chickens treated humanely.  Such terms as "cage free" and "free range".  Be wary - "cage free" can mean they chickens are still crammed together inside a massive chicken house, never seeing the light of day and that the industry definition of "free range" has no actual "time outside" measure.  The "all natural" stamp is a good thing as is the "organic" both indicators that no slaughter house by-products are fed to the chickens (which is just plain nasty).  "Organic" being the premium and farther encompassing term.

All and all, the stamp that I'm seeking is "Pasture Raised".  I take real issue with millions of chickens living their entire lives in a cage in a dark, dusty, feces laden hen house smashed into an area the size of a piece of paper.  I hope you do to.  It's unhealthy for the chickens and ultimately the product you are digesting.  Apparently improvements have been made in some of the factory farm hen houses to reduce Salmonella bacteria but I am just now reading that our FDA has not even re-inspected ANY of the IOWA farms that were involved in the 2010 outbreak where nearly 2,000 became ill.  Doesn't that make you just want to go buy a pack of factory farm eggs?

Finally, a hen - lovely.
Currently I am spoiled to death by getting free eggs from my lovely neighbors that have a hen house.  Their chickens are pets.  I visited the other day and hear this noise in the leaves.  I thought it was their kids playing but it was the chickens foraging in the leaves under the majestic Oaks having the best time being just what they were born to be... FREE BIRDS.

Do you have a life pledge or would you like to make, please share - leave a comment!



  1. Go Rebecca! Great life pledge. Farmers' Markets make this so doable... and support your local food supply and humane, sustainable agriculture.
    Martha at Imani Farm, Earthaven Ecovillage

  2. I support your pledge!

    And, i think that hen is one of the prettiest creatures I've ever seen!

    I'm laughing at you hearing the chickens playing in your yard. I loved walking through the Dominican Republic and having free range birds just walking down the streets like dogs. Everyone knew which chickens where theirs. How? Don't know!

    Fresh eggs. When my niece lived in Guatemala, she kept her eggs on the counter - like everyone else. They didn't go bad. Hmm. Something about FRESH, I would imagine.

    I'm trying to be more aware of what goes into the food I buy and prepare. And, I'm trying to be more aware of the process by which it's made or farmed.

    I posted what I think is an interesting 18 min. video a few days ago. Perhaps you might want to give a peek - I'd love to hear your thoughts.

  3. I just love chickens! We have a rogue chicken who showed up in our neighborhood a year ago. She is so smart...has made it through four harsh snow storms, thunderstorms, hail, and tornados. She has managed to avoid getting hit by cars and eaten by coyotes and foxes. Such a dear! We all take good care of her by feeding her everyday.

    Liz (aka Ninny)
    Passionate Flea on Etsy

  4. Great post Rebecca! Every time I see those horrible chicken trucks on the road I just cringe :(

    Jen W


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