Everyone I know is pretty much on the same page where eggs produced by caged hens are concerned. Confusion with regards to free-run vs. free-range aside, I think we can all agree that keeping hens in cages so small they can't move is inhumane. Far fewer people are familiar with the similar conditions that most sows (mother pigs) are kept in. These conditions are inhumane for any animal but in the case of the sow is particularly heart breaking when you consider that they are even smarter than dogs. If you kept your dog in the same conditions that most sows are housed, you would probably go to jail.
So apparently we now sell the same product as A&W. I came upon this sign >> while fuelling up at a gas station that had an A&W in it. It got me thinking. If beef that has been finished on GMO grains for 120 days in a feed lot is sustainable and ethical, those words don't mean much these days. Dr. John Church (Thompson Rivers University; BC Regional Innovation Chair in Cattle Industry Sustainability & one of the presenters at the COABC conference last week) said in no uncertain terms that this exact practice is a form of, and I quote, "animal abuse."
Navigating the labyrinth of terminology that defines the many different ways table eggs are produced can be frustrating and confusing. Happily, some retailers like Save-on-Foods are making a real effort to demystify things. I've spoken with our local store manager about it and he tells me that since they switched to the new system, they can't keep the free-range eggs on the shelves. That makes me smile. It tells me that consumers really do care about laying hens and want to do the right thing. So this week I thought I'd share with you some more information about where our eggs come from.
A hidden camera video was released as part of a W5 investigation on CTV in October 2014. It showed workers at Western Hog Exchange in Red Deer, Alberta beating, kicking, dragging and using an electric probe on sick, injured and overcrowded pigs. This isn't the first video of this kind and I'm afraid that it won't be the last.