Just one of the phactory pharms where disease-ridden birds are loaded up with antibiotics and hormones in the name of better profits. Image via WikipediaThe Wall St Journal piece on the chicken flap here in Salem requires a response:
- You don't have to keep hens if you don't want to. The hen police won't be coming around to inspect your birds to make sure you haven't gone below the minimum number. You can continue to pretend that food just magically appears in stores as long as you like. Other people want to be able to make a different choice.
- If you think that people should just buy the cheap industrial concentration-camp eggs in the stores, then aren't you kind of crossing a boundary there having to do with "different strokes for different folks?"
Again -- don't keep hens if you don't want to. Those of us who might prefer some eggs produced without the horrific cruelty and disease habits characteristic of the industrial phood empire will not require you to eat anything you don't want to.
- Anyone who argues that the economics of raising hens don't pencil out because it can cost a lot of money for coops, feed, etc. has totally missed some key points, such as
(a) if you don't think it pencils out for you, don't do it (bears repeating);
(b) if one wants to be prepared for the future, it requires preparing before the future arrives. The time to learn how to keep hens properly is when it's not vital. If we wait until food prices are soaring and hunger is even more prevalent then we're going to be just that much further behind and less able to cope. You don't suddenly know how to keep hens; it's not hard, but there's some learning to be done and some habits to build up.
(c) People who spend astounding sums of money for nonsense like cable TV and industrial phood are in no position to make spending decisions for their neighbors; and
(d) There is a large number of people around ready, willing, able, and eager to help other people build a proper coop and learn to keep hens successfully.
- Finally, for the "if you want to keep hens, move to the country" set, let's recall that Salem permitted hens for 70% of the 20th Century without a problem. The more appropriate thought is that, if you want to live in a place where hens aren't permitted, you need to move to a place with restrictive covenants that forbid hens. That way, you can all be together happily.