The rise in “ethical omnivorism” among Australian consumers has lead to an increase in “free range” farming practices, according to a recently published survey by the Humane Food Society. The HFS is a not-for profit advocacy group that campaigns for humane farming practices, right up until the point the animal is murdered for food.
“It’s becoming increasingly more important for Australian consumers that their animal carcasses are coming from humane sources,” Ingrid Young, spokesperson for the HFS explained to The (un)Australian.
“And anyway, shoppers are discovering that flesh stripped from the bones of once happy livestock just tastes better.”
Penny is one such animal. Every day she roams free among her friends around the pastures of “Merry Meadows” a free range chicken farm/abattoir.
Bruce Mallett owns Merry Meadows and has been operating it for a number of years. He takes great pride in raising his chickens in a free environment at least until “we need to cut their heads off”.
“Other farms lock their chickens in cramped, tiny cages, pump them full of antibiotics, and keep them in so much misery they’re practically begging for death. We give our chickens everything they could possibly need so when it comes time for the abattoir, they fight to stay alive. That means tastier chickens for you and your family.”
Due to ambiguity in government regulations, many farms can label their poultry and meat as being raised free range with little consensus on what free range actually describes. It’s possible a chicken can be marketed as free range while having lived what many consider a “battery hen” life style, and only having access to the latest Kendrick Lamar album even though most chickens consider Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City to be the superior album.
Mr Mallett is working in conjuction with the HFS to bring about stricter guidelines for what can be labelled free range in order to protect consumers from being mislead. But bending down to pick up Penny so he can show off her health and succulence, Mr Mallett insists there’s a higher reasoning for free range food.
“Penny here has had good food, the run of the land, and clucks until her heart is content. She’s gotten so nice and fat. She doesn’t just taste better, it’s moral that the life we’re cutting short is a free range one.”
Matthew Farthing is the agricultural reporter for the (un)Australian. He qualifies for the federal government’s “drought loan scheme” as he’s been in a comedy drought for quite some time.