Posted by: facetothewind | November 24, 2009

"Pastured Chicken" not "Free Range" But no matter how you slice it, it's still killing

This year for Thanksgiving, I’m serving a “pastured chicken.” Why pastured and not free range? Free range is a designation that really doesn’t mean much. See this website:


Birds raised for meat may be sold as “free-range” if they have government certified access to the outdoors. The door may be open for only five minutes and the farm still qualifies as “free-range.” Apart from the “open door,” no other criteria such as environmental quality, number of birds, or space per bird, are included in the term “free-range.” A government official said: “Places I’ve visited may have just a gravel yard with no alfalfa or other vegetation.”
pastured chicken

“Pastured” is a bird you are probably NOT going to find in any supermarket. They are found at your local farm or farmer’s market. And notice the per pound price. This chicken cost me $18 at the Tucson farmer’s market. Let me tell you, eating well and not committing a bird to a horrible life in a factory, is an investment. So, you just have to get used to it: you wanna eat well, local and truly organic, you have to pay a little more for your ingredients.

Of course you CAN get the 37-cents a pound turkey at Albertson’s, but if you do, you really should muster the courage to see what precedes the frozen and tidy package you find in the supermarket…

Funny, but after searching the Internet for videos of factory poultry production vs. pastured production, I was still horrified to see that the chickens in a small farm are put into a death cone and their heads are slit open and left upside down to bleed to death. I guess I just thought of the old “chicken with its head cut off” thing and figured, well at least that would be a quick death. But even responsible farming is still a slow and grisly death.

OK, so next year I’m going to serve Tofurkey!



  1. David, thank you for posting this. I’m sending it to every single person on my mailing list. I’ve stopped eating meat and poultry unless I know exactly where and how the animal was raised and killed, which means, in this country, that I’ve basically stopped eating meat. As you say, even the pasteured chicken killing process is pretty grisly.

    I remember the one and only time I’ve ever defended Sarah Palin was last year when she did some interview with a reporter while turkeys were being killed behind her. All my otherwise sensible lefty compatriots were up in arms, but as I pointed out to them, they were all planning to eat turkey on Thanksgiving. So they were being a little, uh, hypocritical. They didn’t want to hear it.

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