Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Organic Farmers Making Their Point

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Organic Farmers Making Their Point

Article excerpt

Byline: By Bill Weeks

Well, the sound of the supermarket Santa sleigh bells are heard in our rural lanes, fields, towns and villages earlier every year urging all of us to shop, shop, shop.

For me, this Christmas, I shall be with my eldest daughter for our traditional Christmas dinner, turkey of course.

And if my daughter has the providing of this wondrous bird, it will be free range, suitably fattened on cereal protein, turnips and whatever else the organic myth and magic folks feel are essential to provide this king Tom turkey!

But our town dwelling cousins need have no fear, this year, possibly more free range turkeys have been reared than ever before.

Now, I have been frequently taken to task by many sincere, good hearted folk regarding the production of many types of chickens, ducks and eggs that have occupied much of my time in the theoretical, economic, aspects of agriculture.

Certainly, Christmas is the season of peace on earth and goodwill towards men, women too, in these days of equal opportunity.

Yet, these sentiments are all very well and good but what about the spirit of Noel when we look at how the vast majority of our Christmas dinners and produced?

Be our festive fare turkey, goose, duck, or chicken ( what about the intensive factory methods under controlled environment, feeding and fattening, used to get that Christmas bird on to our groaning family table?

I must admit this, as I have advanced in years, I have begun to wonder!

Perhaps a bit of peace on earth and goodwill towards men might not be amiss when we look at our battery hens, broiler chickens, overweight stuffed turkeys and intensive ducks.

I must admit that I am increasingly coming over to believe that the protagonists of so-called natural means of farm food production may have a point!

I suppose, too, that the increasing number of our more ethical members could claim that these smooth brown-shelled eggs with rich yellow yolks come from contented Rhode Island Red or White Wyndottes, scratching around in a straw-filled dung heap.

They actually come from some poor battery bird, minus most of its feathers, and, until recently, confined with three of its mates, in a four-tiered set of battery cages in a controlled environment laying house. …

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