For former vegetarian Ann Pacey, it starts with the ‘girls’ in her chicken coop
By Randy Shore, Vancouver Sun July 9, 2012
Ann Pacey spent seven years eating as a vegetarian and only recently began to eat meat again. She’s picky.
“I eat meat and I believe that animals should be allowed to be animals,” Pacey said. “I eat my meat from animals that I know have been allowed to live a normal life.”
Normal to Pacey means growing up on pasture, outdoors and not crowded into dusty barns under electric light.
Pacey, a resident of Dunbar, has 120 laying hens at Cherry Lane Farm in north Richmond. Her “girls” are pastured outdoors where they eat larvae, worms and insects in addition to their vegetarian feed.
But normal does not describe the way the vast majority of food animals are raised. We have all seen horrifying images in media and on the placards animal rights activists wave. Fairly or not, animal products have a whiff of cruelty about them.
Chickens are raised in dusty barns by the thousands. Free range birds have access to the outdoors at least part of the time, but few ever venture out. Conventional laying hens live out their lives in cages.
Pigs, too, are raised indoors in dim, dusty barns. They wrestle and play like children during their few months of life.
Beef cattle are raised on pasture, but fattened in massive feeding lots where they eat a mixture of grain that includes large amounts of corn, not part of their natural diet.