We’ll Be Overrun With Animals

It sounds like you think we are at war with chickens, and that our only hope is to keep weakening the Chicken Army through constant fricasseeing and roasting, and by stuffing them into vol au vents. Is that what you’re saying?

If so, we need to talk about how the farming system actually works.

Farmers don’t spend their time dressed in camo nets sneaking up on chickens so they can knock them down, stuff them in a sack and sell them to supermarkets. No, they have developed a more efficient and lucrative way, which is to breed as many chickens as they can sell, feed them up inside a warehouse, and then send them to slaughter. In return, they get a big fat pay cheque. Are you following so far?

If more people start to eat chicken, or the same number of people decide to eat more chicken, that same farmer might build another four warehouses on his farm and breed another 100,000 birds because he knows he’ll be able to sell them.

Now, and here’s the tricky part, try imagining that fewer people want to eat chicken, perhaps because they’ve tried VFC and found it tastes so good. What do you think happens then? That’s right, the farmer breeds fewer chickens because the market has shrunk.

If it helps, think about tomatoes. They’re also farmed. If people stopped eating them tomorrow, there would be no Day of the Triffids. People won’t be outnumbered, tormented and enslaved by those shiny red fruits growing out of control. Farmers will just grow fewer of them.

It’s the same with chickens, Tom. Do you see?

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