Part of Mistresses Monthly Meanderings. Issue 3 September 1998



    I went to my local supermarket yesterday, and was quite pleased to see something that I have had on my mind for a while now, actually being marketed in Cyprus.
                                             'Free Range Chicken.'
So I decided to scrap my carefully planned shopping list, and support the effort, by buying one. When I got home, my six year old asked me what was for dinner (I call it torture time because whatever I cook, unless it is plain spaghetti with halloumi, or a peanut butter sandwich, he complains.)

I said that it was Roast Chicken, as I had bought a free range one. When he asked me what that meant, I explained that these chickens were allowed to run around freely, peck at the ground, eat real food and be chickens, whereas battery hens were kept in appalling conditions in small cages within large sheds, eating lord knows what and that now that I could find free range I would support the 'better life for a chicken' campaign.

He looked at me thoughtfully for a moment and said " No mum, you're wrong."
"What ?! " I said
"Well, the chickens who are allowed to be chickens, are having a great time, they are happy, and we come along and kill them, that's awful and sad," he said " and the chickens who are unhappy and miserable would be happy to die, those are the ones we should kill, we'd be doing them a favour."

As usual, when my child applies his straightforward logic to me I was stumped. I am still thinking about it now, and can't realty refute the truly cutting edge morality of his thought process. However, I shall continue to purchase free range rather than battery farmed chickens, as my heart tells me 'better to have lived and lost than never to have lived at all.'

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