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Don’t worry about the hen-house; get your eggs in a row

It’s interesting to watch the issues that local residents choose to focus on.

It’s interesting to watch the issues that local residents choose to focus on.

This week the paper is full of debate over the construction currently taking place on South Shore Road, and we also have a recurring (so I have discovered through interviews and through reading past articles that have appeared in the Gazette starting in 2010) backyard chicken debate.

While I understand both sides of both of these issues, I find that the questions I ask myself have to do with a bigger picture perspective.

Let’s pick on the backyard chickens, for example.

I grew up with chickens for many years and have experienced first hand both the pros and the cons.

I also was a vegan for many years, and watched and read a lot of information about factory farming. The reality of this industry still turns my stomach, and as a result I do try to purchase my meat and poultry products locally.

It is common knowledge that factory farmed hens are kept in deplorable, cramped conditions, meat birds have their beaks cut when they are chicks — causing deformity and other health related issues — and many consider the eggs harvested from hens in these environments as having less nutritional value and taste.

In a place like Lake Cowichan there are many people who are conscious  of where their food comes from, but many still shop at big box stores.

And yet, those who do shop at these large chain stores resist the idea of allowing backyard chickens because they claim they are concerned about rats, disease, irresponsible owners, etc.

I’m sorry, but if you are really concerned with the health of the animals you source your food from, shouldn’t you be making sure the food you purchase is local and not supporting factory farms?

I just don’t see how the logic adds up.