Hello, high school classmate! I read your November 13, 2007 Loos Tales article and wanted to respond. I know your passion and enthusiasm and first want to tell you how proud I am of you for traveling, learning, discussing and speaking out to protect the rights of small farms. You are inspirational and I applaud your efforts!
My son has raised chickens on our small Iowa farm for four years and started his own small egg business. He has learned much about chickens and business that has enhanced his love of poultry and helps to teach him responsibility. This summer he went to Iowa State Fair having the honor to present his 4-H Educational Presentation entitled “Everyone Eats Eggs.” Garrett researched all the variation of egg carton terms and the facilities that raise them. It is confusing. Iowa is the number one egg producing state in the United States and currently has most of the factory farms raising hens in open-range conditions. His presentation was well received with the most questions from the audience. This proves that people are interested and starting to care more about their food and where it comes from. I understand fully what some people are saying about the housing of chickens in the large warehouses. There are many ways of raising chickens in better conditions. The better the conditions for the chicken, the better quality of eggs we as consumers eat.
However, for every person who wants to complain about conditions of the chickens in large factory farms and blame big companies for their involvement, I would encourage them to first analyze their own buying habits. Each one of us is supporting these larger egg factories when we purchase cheap eggs in the grocery stores. Until more people are willing to be responsible for their own actions and start being more informed about the industry, then I don’t understand how they can justify blaming other companies for the huge demand of human consumption of eggs and chickens.
In less than half a decade ago, most every small farm raised their own chickens for their food and eggs. The extra eggs they did not use were sold to make money for the family. You can’t drive across Iowa anymore and see many animals outside. Most everyone eats eggs and eggs are in most everything people eat, but eggs are a subject that most people know little about anymore. Chickens are truly amazing animals that we all depend on every day. The sad truth is that most people don’t want to be inconvenienced with raising their own chickens. Small farmers are dwindling and large factory farms had to move in to meet the continual demand of the people. Unfortunately with this transition, it caused fewer people to realize how much work it takes to raise these animals, and many people think only about animals when they buy their products in the grocery store. They have lost the precious connection between animals and humans.
So I will encourage everyone to think about where they buy their food and I hope to motivate people to start raising their own animals. Their time with animals will be far more rewarding than writing letters complaining to large corporations - that are only trying to meet the demands of people and have many other things to worry about than giving a chicken a good home.
Not telling you anything that you don’t already know, Trent. If you can use any of this to reunite the connection with animals and humans, than I am all for it!
“Teach your children that we have taught our children that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of earth…All things are connected.” – Chief Seattle, 1854...Read his entire speech at: http://www.kyphilom.com/www/seattle.html