To be mildly irritated at being told to use free range eggs

(133 Posts)
Kungfutea Sun 16-Jun-13 02:54:50

So many recipes sanctimoniously say to use free range eggs. Nothing else is free range and there seems to be no concern for the welfare of any other animals.

Obviously eggs from caged hens would work just as well, people don't buy free range for the flavour (at least I don't notice a difference).

I know, not a big deal (and as it happens I do always buy free range and we try to buy humanely farmed other animal products) but I do find it a little irritating and a bit hypocritical for a recipe to specifically state that free range eggs should be used. Leave the ethical decisions to me, thanks. Aibu?

soapnuts Sun 16-Jun-13 03:13:27

yanbu - i hate it too - worse are the ones that stipulate Organic eggs... seriously? Is that actually a necessary part of the recipe?? Ok - can't make that then cos I refuse to spend half the monthly income on a couple of free-range, organic eggs laid by hens fed gran watered with the teardrops of angels

Kungfutea Sun 16-Jun-13 03:36:06

And why stop at eggs?

Glad it's not just me!

HoveringKestrel Sun 16-Jun-13 03:40:46

I'm in two minds at this. I'm all for free range, lovely, they can run around, great.

But to put it in a book? Hmm. I personally have never read "make sure the chicken you're about to eat was killed humanely"

So I don't think a recipe should comment on egg laying when a few pages later they're roasting the creature without any comment on it's slaughter.

amazingmumof6 Sun 16-Jun-13 03:56:07

a little chemistry lesson : organic means live, living

organic chemistry is based on the four elements found in all living things : Oxygen, Carbon, Nitrogen and Hydrogen

so with a little twisted science humour you can say that all chickens are organic as long as they are alive.
as soon as they are dead they are in-organicgrin

with the same " logic " eggs can never be organic as they are not alive.grin
not sure if any of this is funny - and it's late/early.....

free range - different problem?

I hate sanctimonious crap and use cheap eggs. they taste fine to me!wink

VixZenFenchell Sun 16-Jun-13 04:02:55

YANBU to think that free range eggs will work in exactly the same way as barn eggs, caged eggs, battery farmed mass produced eggs - they're all eggs.

However YABVU if you can't taste the difference between an egg from any other source (caged or barn) and free range. There is a clear difference in both appearance and flavour!

(We eat barn eggs mostly. The only free range eggs we eat come from the back garden flock who are currently on a non-laying-work-to-rule type action in protest at the lack of sunlight and increase in rainfall. That and the sparrows are eating all their food in spite of my best efforts. What few eggs we get have definitely got different coloured yolks and taste slightly sweeter/cinnamony).

Kungfutea Sun 16-Jun-13 04:16:13

I can't taste any difference, certainly not once it's in a cake! Surely any difference would be due what the hens are fed?

IsThisAGoodIdea Sun 16-Jun-13 04:18:33

Isn't it just a gentle reminder to only buy eggs that have been laid in humane conditions? I don't see the harm. Buying eggs from battery hens is supporting a cruel industry.

I'd rather give up eggs than eat ones from caged hens. Do you know how those poor animals live?

It's a few pence more, isn't a hen's welfare worth that to you?

vivizone Sun 16-Jun-13 04:22:14

IsThisAGoodIdea - the op does not need a gentle reminder.

It's a few pence more, isn't a hen's welfare worth that to you? - did you read what the op wrote?

SucksToBeMe Sun 16-Jun-13 04:37:12

Yabu. Anything other than free range makes me hmm.

squoosh Sun 16-Jun-13 04:39:10


I love that you are irritated but still make sure to tell us that of course you only buy free range.

Good for you, you don't buy battery farmed eggs, but lots of other people do. Any nudge that makes people think twice about this farming practise is a-ok in my book.

Flossbert Sun 16-Jun-13 04:43:00

I agree with vix. I guess it depends what you're making. If it's a cake or something where the egg is merely used to 'bind' then any egg will do. But if it's something like an omelette, or something else where the egg is the star I think you should use free range as the flavour is far better.

plinkyplonks Sun 16-Jun-13 05:00:39

Flavour is much better on free range eggs, and it's also more ethical choice than caged hen's eggs. So I think you are being unreasonable.

Kungfutea Sun 16-Jun-13 05:13:04

Sorry, I still don't think a recipe is the place to nudge people about buying free range or not. People don't buy free range for a number of reasons - maybe cost is one of them. If its not relevant to the recipe, then no need to mention it IMO.

The reason I said I buy free range is to point out that I am sympathetic to the idea of free range but it annoys me that I'm being told to use free range in a recipe.

You may taste a difference, I don't. The most important factors in an eggs taste is how fresh it is and the hens diet, but they don't say 'very fresh egg' just free range - and no mention is made of any humane practice for any other animals.

As I said in op, leave ethical food decisions to me, ta very much.

KatyTheCleaningLady Sun 16-Jun-13 06:17:34

YANBU. I can't taste a difference in a cake recipe, so it seems sanctimonious to me.

However, the tone of many cookery books can be annoyingly condescending and precious.

Tee2072 Sun 16-Jun-13 06:38:10

I think it's Jamie Oliver whose recipes always suggest high welfare animal products, including the meat.

I don't have enough money to have ethics. It's not "a few pence". It's the difference between feeding my family a healthy diet and feeding them crap. My family's welfare will always come before the animals that we eat.

HollyBerryBush Sun 16-Jun-13 06:57:52

Only because I watch some obscure programmes, two weeks ago there was a medieval kitchen re-enactment programme, two days for a lot of very random people to prepare and make a high feast for a manor house using only Tudor methods.

From that I learned that chickens were only affordable to the masses because of high density farming from the 1960's. Before that, every one had scrag end and entrails disguised as something or another.

If we were all ethical about meat, there wouldn't be the land to produce it. Sadly because the human race keeps over populating the planet - we have to eat intensively farmed foods.

sweetestcup Sun 16-Jun-13 07:09:45

I once got absolutely demonised on here by one poster for buying value chicken breasts who just couldn't understand why I didn't care about the animals welfare, well the same applies here...I agree with tee, feeding my family comes first.

saintmerryweather Sun 16-Jun-13 07:12:32

barn eggs are only marginally less cruel than battery eggs. luckily my riding instructor sells free range eggs at 1.50 a dozen

HollyBerryBush Sun 16-Jun-13 07:13:52

I did read somewhere, many moons ago, that free range eggs have a far higher incidence of salmonella than battery eggs. Not that I really give a shit because I'm going to cook any egg properly!

Tee2072 Sun 16-Jun-13 07:18:31

I saw that show Holly it was interesting.

If the recipe is written by someone who specifically speaks up on animal cruelty (as it sounds like JO does, then fine). But "free range egg" to coat your (battery farmed for all they mention) chicken breasts is just posturing on their part.

sparkle12mar08 Sun 16-Jun-13 07:19:50

Iceland sell free range eggs for £1 for six for those worried about the cost.

SoupDragon Sun 16-Jun-13 07:20:06

Really? This kind of thing irritates you? When you actually buy free range anyway? confused

SoupDragon Sun 16-Jun-13 07:21:11

My BeRo cookery book always tells me to use BeRo flour. I let it wash over me and ignore it without the slightest hint of irritation.

HollyBerryBush Sun 16-Jun-13 07:27:00

Or you can get 15 eggs for £14.9 in Asda which aren't free range.

If you are on that tight a budget, it makes a lot of difference. A lot of people can't afford quality cuts of meat these days, or meat at all in some circumstances, eggs area good source of protein. They are full of folic acid and Vit B

Tee2072 Sun 16-Jun-13 07:33:21

£14.90? grin

£1.49 I presume?

TheDeadlyDonkey Sun 16-Jun-13 07:35:39

Sadly for chickens, they thrive in all sorts of horrendous conditions.
If someone is buying supermarket eggs, whether thy are FR, battery or barn, they are still reared in cruel conditions - huge numbers of chickens kept in ridiculously small areas.
Free range systems offer the option of outside, but apart from a few new farms, in reality, the majority of chickens don't really benefit from it.

Shoppers needn't feel sanctimonious for buying free range eggs, (or FR chicken breasts etc) as they are still buying from a horrifically intensive farming system that is cruel to the chickens.

There are ongoing exposès into the welfare of dairy herds, pig farms and free range chicken farms (eggs and meat)
The new enriched battery cages in many cases actually provide chickens with a happier life than many free range farms, as they are kept in more natural flock sizes and tend to have more space than the majority of FR birds.
(FR systems calculate space per bird including outside space - in most farms, the pop holes are still small, and are guarded by higher ranking hens in the pecking order, so for the hens inside, which could be thousands, conditions are worse than in an enriched battery cage)
Of course, these farms are never the ones shown to Jamie Oliver and Hugh FW.
As far as I've seen, organic systems offer higher welfare that actually reaches more chickens.

Life for a chicken isn't as the Happy Egg company advertises it.

Lweji Sun 16-Jun-13 07:47:39

Just be thankful you are not told to use a hand whisk.

or a "scrupulously clean" bowl

Oh this one only had the Yorkshire pudding mix in from last week, it's had a quick rinse in the tepid washing up water from yesterday, it'll do

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Sun 16-Jun-13 07:51:52

I don't undrstand why people think feeding their kids chicken that's been pumped full of antibiotics and hormones or eggs from those chickens 'healthy'. You'd be better off feeding them a veggie diet if money's an issue.

saintmerryweather Sun 16-Jun-13 07:53:09

that is scrupulously clean when you dont have enough bowls grin

Tee2072 Sun 16-Jun-13 07:54:57

These days veggie isn't much cheaper than meat, actually. Have you seen the price of a cucumber or some tomatoes?

BrienneOfTarth Sun 16-Jun-13 07:56:24

Agree with you it's annoying if it's in a recipe book where the ethical background of other animal-based ingredients isn't stipulated.

However, if it's in the context of a vegetarian cook book then it's different - the vegetarian society only endorses as vegsoc approved products that (if they contain eggs at all) only use free range eggs. Anyone who is a vegetarian for ethical, rather than health, reasons would almost certainly want to exclude battery eggs from their diet. So, I would think it completely reasonable for a vegetarian recipe which contained eggs to specify that they should be free range, to keep the whole recipe veggie-friendly.

SanityClause Sun 16-Jun-13 08:02:25

If you're a vegetarian for ethical reasons, how can you justify eating eggs at all? After all, what happens to the male chicks? They don't fill the world with scraggy old cockerels living a natural life span.

Tee2072 Sun 16-Jun-13 08:07:07

I would assume, as the OP mentions they don't seem to care about the welfare of the meat, that it's not a vegetarian cookbook.

Also, what Sanity said. grin

HollyBerryBush Sun 16-Jun-13 08:08:06

I spend £30 a week on fruit and veg - and probably £15 on meat - veg is far more expensive (and I usually shop in Lidl)

What is it with broccoli at the moment? Is there a national shortage of the stuff? Its so expensive.

Eggs however remain cheap.

I really don't know where this illusion that veg is cheap comes from

Jenny70 Sun 16-Jun-13 08:08:53

Wouldn't it be better to make caged egg conditions humane (or banned) and then you can choose the rggs you want without worry?

But it is preachy in recipe - but some authors/cooks are preachy << shrug >>

marriedinwhiteagain Sun 16-Jun-13 08:13:37

kungfu if I wanted to be really pedantic "free range eggs" as a phrase isn't really specific enough. It should really be "free range hen's eggs" - there are other eggs out there - quail, duck and goose more commonly. I haven't had a duck egg for years though but you could probably bung one in a cake mixture if you had one.

JoyMachine Sun 16-Jun-13 08:17:08

Ogodness deadlydonkey- tht sound horrible!

We're lucky that we can afford organic eggs, but they are v expensive- I buy them infrequently due to cost- surely if something's expensive, you just eat less of it!

Free range eggs definatly taste better than caged. I really notice the difference if we eat eggs that haven't been laid by our chickens (egg bore)
I think that's why they write it. Because if they tell you to get the best quality ingredients and you don't, you can't blame the recipe for it not being as nice. Like when they say 70% cocoa chocolate, or butter rather than stork. They dont care about the welfare standards but they care about if you like their recipe.

diddl Sun 16-Jun-13 08:22:18

But in UK, there are no more caged hens-as in battery- are there?

WitchOfEndor Sun 16-Jun-13 08:28:15

I don't mind, any more than I mind when they tell me to use a specific cocoa solids % in the recipe. I don't assume they are judging me for the cost of my ingredients but are advising what works best in their experience.

But maybe that's because I always buy free-range eggs grin

EmmelineGoulden Sun 16-Jun-13 08:28:22

The price of general veg is irrelevent to the cost of being vegetarian. For a healthy omnivorous diet you need broccoli and tomatoes etc any way, whatever meat you're buying. If you want a cheaper healthy diet you replace the meat with beans and pulses, which are cheaper than eggs and meat.

If intensely farmed (and the cheap ones will be) it's still not necessarily that kind to the environment or the animails that (would have) lived where they are grown. But it's kinder than intensive meat production and we have a lot of mouths to feed in the world, the West's high meat consumption is not sustainable and intense farming methods are necessary to make sure everyone has enough to eat of even a less meat-based diet.

OP YANBU. It's preachy.

TheRealFellatio Sun 16-Jun-13 08:28:23

I hate this too, and I buy free range eggs given the choice! same with specifying organic things, or very expensive niche items when a more readily available cheaper version would do just as well.

But the thing I REALLY hate is when recipes (usually American) tell me to use low fat cream cheese, mayonnaise, cheddar or skimmed milk or whatever, when I know that the original recipe would have called for a normal, full fat version, but the writer is taking it upon themselves to adapt the recipe for the supposed benefit of my health, even if it's to the detriment of the taste and texture of the end result.

They know nothing about me, or my health, or my eating habits, and I am capable of deciding whether or not a recipe has more calories or fat in it than I can be trusted with, thanks very much!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sun 16-Jun-13 08:31:00

There are. The cage sizes have to be slightly larger now though.

And you don't have to feed your family meat/eggs. In season/canned fruit/veg/pulses etc are cheap so you can be ethical and feed your family.

Tee2072 Sun 16-Jun-13 08:31:53

Emmaline we've been being fed the 'meat production is not sustainable' line since I was a child.

So over 40 years.

At what point is the sustainability actually going to stop?

The issue with world hunger is not production. It's distribution.

TheDeadlyDonkey Sun 16-Jun-13 08:35:23

Diddl - they are now in enriched cages. They have slightly more space, nest boxes, perches etc, so they can live slightly more chickeny lives.

There is definitely a taste difference between genuine FR hen's eggs and intensively reared ones, but free range units producing eggs for mass sale are every bit as intensive as caged and barn units.

RoooneyMara Sun 16-Jun-13 08:38:56

I often see people complaining on here that women are treated as 'walking incubators' and are only valued, by some, for the child they are growing inside them.

There is rightful outrage about this.

Yet when it comes to your fellow female animals, you're a bunch of unfeeling cunts, for want of a better word.

We keep chickens and they lay the most beautiful eggs. We are grateful and we thank them and we give them to neighbours for free - we don't eat many eggs ourselves. They all say, without exception, that the eggs taste nothing like the ones you can buy in the supermarkets.

Have a think before you condemn chickens to merely a 'thing' which can be exploited to produce stuff for you to eat.

As for eating anything other than free range chicken - have you ever SEEN a chicken close up? Felt it, cared for it, pulled maggots from its flesh with your bare hands? Then you might have an idea how minging they are, and how much worse when they are kept in cages and fed a cocktail of antibiotics till they die of various infections.

quesadilla Sun 16-Jun-13 08:39:05

YANBU. I actually do always buy free range but I loathe that nanny state food sactinoniousness. Don't get me started on organic.

Tee2072 Sun 16-Jun-13 08:44:19

When it comes to a chicken versus a woman? You're damn right I'm an 'unfeeling cunt'.

It's a fucking chicken. I'm either going to eat it or it's eggs. I could not care less how it's reared.

Do not get the 'animals are as important as humans' idea. No. They aren't. Or we wouldn't eat them. Or test medication on them. Or a million other things.

Damn right I've never handled a chicken. I'm a graphic artist, not a fucking farmer. I've also never mowed my lawn because I'm a graphic artist not a fucking gardener.

EmmelineGoulden Sun 16-Jun-13 08:44:44

Tee there have been some significant "improvements" to intensive animal farming methods that have increased production in the last few decades. But recently meat prices have been rising faster than most other foods because demand is starting to outstrip supply.

The world population has almost tripled in the last 50 years. If it continues to do so (and it hasn't slowed down yet) we will continue to see significant increases in food prices, and meat, since it uses more resources to produce the same nutrients, will rise more.

Tee2072 Sun 16-Jun-13 08:46:37

So the rich will continue to eat it and the rest of us won't. shrug Welcome to a free market economy.

But don't tell me it isn't sustainable. It's as sustainable as it needs to be if people are willing to pay for it. And they are and will continue to be so.

Especially in other countries where they would give you one of these hmm if you asked them where their meat came from or how it was raised. Most of the world is much more practical than the UK or the US, for that matter, in these issues.

RoooneyMara Sun 16-Jun-13 08:53:12

If practical gets us H7N9 then I'm not sure it's such a great thing.

EmmelineGoulden Sun 16-Jun-13 08:56:22

Well yes - it will become more of a luxury item. "Not sustainable" doesn't really mean anything else. Perhaps it would have been more accurate to say " our current approach to meat as a staple of the general diet is unsustainable" but that is quite long winded.

IfIonlyhadsomesleep Sun 16-Jun-13 09:00:30

It did make me smile a bit to see a poster say up thread that she could afford free range eggs because her riding instructor sold them at £1.50 a dozen...

Tee2072 Sun 16-Jun-13 09:02:55

Well, no. Not sustainable means just that: it can't be sustained, not that it can be sustained as a luxury.

Is MN charging by the word now, you couldn't say that? grin

DTisMYdoctor Sun 16-Jun-13 09:06:03

HollyBerryBush - there was a big broccoli shortage last year, so maybe there are ongoing problems with supply.

EmmelineGoulden Sun 16-Jun-13 09:07:38

I said "the West's high meat consumption" is not sustainable in the context of population increase. I know there are lots of things you don't do because you are a graphic artist not a fucking whatever, but you could still try to read in context.

Tee2072 Sun 16-Jun-13 09:11:14

Yes. And I said 'they' have been saying that for decades. And then you changed the meaning of what you said by adding more words because you know I'm right. So you actually changed the context, it's not that I misread it.

There will always be meat production. It may become a luxury, who knows? Guess what? The West controls most things. That's not going to change either.

Are you fucking offended by the word fucking? Too fucking bad.

McNewPants2013 Sun 16-Jun-13 09:15:25

I hope those who think of animal welfare but buying free range or organic also think about other aspect of your shopping.

Persil, Hovis, Flora and many other contain Palm Oil, this damages wildlife-rich forests of Indonesia and Malaysia.

LottieJenkins Sun 16-Jun-13 09:20:43

The local egg seller uses a veg stall opposite my house to sell his free range eggs. He used to sell them through our local co-op but because he doesn't frank the eggs the co-op refused to sell them. The co-ops eggs are £1.60 or near that for half a dozen. The farmers eggs are 90p!!! grin

RoooneyMara Sun 16-Jun-13 09:20:57

How proud you sound to be able to be so offensive without compunction.

EmmelineGoulden Sun 16-Jun-13 09:21:17

The West controls most things. That's not going to change either. hahaha. You're not definitely not a fucking economist are you!

And no. I'm not in anyway offended by the word fucking.

RoooneyMara Sun 16-Jun-13 09:21:24


Bexicles Sun 16-Jun-13 09:22:53

YANBU but free range eggs do taste better and think of the chickens!!!

Branleuse Sun 16-Jun-13 09:23:00

why would you be irritated by a subtle reminder to not buy torture-produced food?

MadeOfStarDust Sun 16-Jun-13 09:26:44

I think the worst thing we can do is continue to kid ourselves that "free range" is better than battery - the "oh WE wouldn't use battery eggs" brigade gets on my nerves....

Free range hens have "access to the outside" - but inside the stocking density is still high... (9 birds per square metre) they are still de-beaked with a hot wire, "boy" chicks are still euthanised. Their feed is still laced with growth hormones and antibiotics.

Do people really think free range eggs all come from small stock-holders with a barn and a chicken run??? They come from the same place battery hens used to...

WMittens Sun 16-Jun-13 09:27:38

a little chemistry lesson : organic means live, living

organic chemistry is based on the four elements found in all living things : Oxygen, Carbon, Nitrogen and Hydrogen

In chemistry terms, 'organic' relates to molecules containing carbon (although, some carbon-containing molecules are classed as inorganic).

RoooneyMara Sun 16-Jun-13 09:27:54

Made, sorry but you're not correct to state that they are treated in that manner. Some may be but many are not.

Ours for instance...hmm

TheDeadlyDonkey Sun 16-Jun-13 09:28:31

Many farming practices are not compatible with animal welfare tbh.
Animals are selectively bred to produce beef animals that cannot be born naturally, milk cows that produce unnatural amounts of milk, chickens that lay an egg every day, meat chickens that reach gross weights when, by rights, they should still be relatively small. Farming today is, by necessity, unnatural.

If you're going to buy eggs, buy what you can afford.
I know celebrity chefs have sold this image of FR being good, anything else bad, but in real terms, and in most farms, it doesn't make a toss of difference.

LadyBeagleEyes Sun 16-Jun-13 09:28:40

Whoever said you can't tell the difference surprised me.
I buy my eggs from a friend who has chickens and they are delicious.
I don't suppose it makes much difference in cakes, but a fresh from the chicken egg from her definitely tastes better.

TheDeadlyDonkey Sun 16-Jun-13 09:33:01

Roooney, I keep chickens. They have loads of space to free range on. They lay lovely eggs.
However, there is absolutely no comparison between my free range chickens, and intensively farmed free range chickens.
Made is right. Apart from on a few farms, free range chickens are anything but, and the majority of hens have less space than old style battery hens (less than A4 size per bird)

RoooneyMara Sun 16-Jun-13 09:34:14

But it is better than battery, still - yes?

RoooneyMara Sun 16-Jun-13 09:35:24

I also don't understand why people need to buy so many eggs that it makes a huge difference to their food bill in general.

I have 3 children yet we rarely use more than a couple of eggs a week.

crashdoll Sun 16-Jun-13 09:41:36

Arf at being called an unfeeling cunt because I care about humans more than chickens. grin

I do care about animal welfare btw but I'd always prioritise a human over a chicken.

TheDeadlyDonkey Sun 16-Jun-13 09:42:49

There are pros and cons to each Roooney.
Having seen and compared the systems, I would say that a free range system with large doors and plenty of space is far better, but the farms that offer this are rare.
If you buy eggs from a supermarket (FR, battery or barn), birds from enriched cages, on average, actually have more room, and more natural social groups. They don't get the option to feel the sun on their backs, but then again, neither do the majority of free range intensively farmed birds.
It appears to me (again from having seen these systems in action) that there is more control in battery farming, it's not perfect, but it's not pretending to be, unlike free range systems. Sorry, unlike the majority of free range systems I should say!

MadeOfStarDust Sun 16-Jun-13 09:46:48

it does not have to be "better than battery" - battery DOES NOT EXIST in this country any more - caged birds are kept in a lower density than free range, with more nests etc

most - as in OVER 90% of free range birds are kept in the old battery style sheds - but without cages, (9 birds per square m) with a small outside run. Do not kid yourselves that commercially produced free-range-egg laying hens are any better off than before.

TheDeadlyDonkey Sun 16-Jun-13 09:46:54

Advertising works. People imagine happy free range chickens, pottering about in and out of woods, perhaps having a ride on a quad bike.

It is advertising.
It does not reflect real life. If the adverts showed how the chickens were kept, even the ones with genuinely higher welfare, I think people would be shocked.
Same as all other advertising. If it showed real life, products wouldn't sell.

TheDeadlyDonkey Sun 16-Jun-13 09:47:55

yy Made.

LadyJuice Sun 16-Jun-13 10:00:17

How proud you sound to be able to be so offensive without compunction.

...says the woman who is proud to call others 'cunts' hmm

KatyTheCleaningLady Sun 16-Jun-13 10:13:43

I suppose if I did a side-by-side comparison of soft boiled battery and truly free range eggs, I would taste a difference. I don't do that, though. So, no. I don't notice a difference in taste. Even when my friend gave me eggs from her pet chickens, I never noticed anything special about the taste.

And, personally, I am happy about that because this way I don't have to care about anything other than price and perhaps animal welfare.

I don't really care about chickens, but I do feel bad for pigs. Not enough to stop eating my bacon roll from Greggs every morning, but I don't buy fresh pork to prepare at home.

RoooneyMara Sun 16-Jun-13 11:15:25

I didn't say I was proud of it. I just couldn't think of another word.

Genuine question - where should we get eggs from? I had no idea free range was so bad. We use loads , I have one for breakfast most morning, kids havr them one night most weeks and most weeks we either bake or have Yorkshire puddings

sweetestcup Sun 16-Jun-13 11:38:10

Rooooneymara, no I havent seen a chicken or care about how its treated, not until its wrapped in clingfilm and I can buy it in a supermarket.

Trills Sun 16-Jun-13 11:39:03


It is silly.

Ingredients should only be as specific as necessary in order for the recipe to work.

Specifying what kind of flour - self-raising or plain - fine.

Saying that you prefer Italian 00 flour but that normal plain will work - fine.

Saying that you must buy a particular brand - not fine.

LadyJuice Sun 16-Jun-13 11:42:22

Rooney, are you serious? You couldn't think of an alternative to the deeply misogynistic and brutal 'cunt'?

Are you cerebrally-challenged?

Branleuse Sun 16-Jun-13 11:44:37

youre wrong to say free range is no worse. It may not be perfect, but its still a hell of a lot better than caged or barn eggs

MadeOfStarDust Sun 16-Jun-13 11:58:46


Britain has 30,000,000 egg-laying hens.

They lay nine billion eggs annually.

22 million are caged hens.

Two million are barn hens.

Five million are free-range hens.

Source: British Egg Information Service.
These 5 million chickens don't live in little barns with a chicken run - for those numbers you have big sheds with 10,000 chickens in...

RoooneyMara Sun 16-Jun-13 12:01:16

I was certainly intellectually challenged at 8.30 this morning. I'm sorry if it offended people in that way. I was rather shocked at some of the callous posts regarding chickens and their apparent lack of a right to being treated humanely.

Do people WANT Chinese style farming here? Really? And their allied human rights stance, too?

This was my point. As women we should understand more than anyone else that these creatures deserve to be farmed humanely if they are farmed at all.

I commented on Tee's delight in using the word 'fuck', not on the fact she had felt inclined to use it.

Arisbottle Sun 16-Jun-13 12:01:58

Our chickens are completely free range and our eggs taste better than the average shop bought egg, although some of that is down to freshness. They are also fantastic for baking.

I don't understand why you would not buy free range unless you were in really dire financial straits, and certainly not how it would annoy you.

SplitHeadGirl Sun 16-Jun-13 12:04:31

I get my eggs from my farmer uncle. I could never and would never buy eggs from battery hens. No way will I knowingly allow an animal to suffer in my name.

TheDeadlyDonkey Sun 16-Jun-13 12:54:07

Stealth - if you have a local chicken keeper, you can pretty much guarantee that the chickens have a relatively happy life, doing stuff that chickens do.

If not, if you can afford organic, they do have higher welfare.
If your choice is between supermarket free range, barn or battery, like I said, there are pros and cons, but not really anything much between them.

babyhammock Sun 16-Jun-13 13:17:00

Just wanted to offer a bit of support to Rooney really. I can't believe the number of posters who couldn't give a toss about how the chicken lived.
We keep bantam chicken's too btw and they're such friendly amiable animals

RoooneyMara Sun 16-Jun-13 13:24:04

Thankyou Babyhammock. It's unbelievable isn't it sad

TheDeadlyDonkey Sun 16-Jun-13 13:57:50

To be fair though, not everyone has space/time/money to keep chickens, or has access to eggs laid by happy, well cared for chickens. So assuming they're not vegans, where do they buy eggs?
If you can't afford organic, there's no real humane option.
But thinking down that line, do you consider how a dairy cow lives when you buy a bottle of milk, or some cheese or butter, or could you keep a cow in your garden? If not, it's hypocritical.

RevoltingPeasant Sun 16-Jun-13 14:58:47

Rooney quite.

You know, historically, in parts of Europe, wolves predated upon humans. Because they could, I guess. Suppose that makes wolves more important than humans?

I love the idea that there's a binary choice between Feeding My Kidz and giving a fuck for any other living thing. Because yes, your dc will explode if they don't consume animal protein at least once a day.

crashdoll Sun 16-Jun-13 16:00:02

*"But thinking down that line, do you consider how a dairy cow lives when you buy a bottle of milk, or some cheese or butter, or could you keep a cow in your garden? If not, it's hypocritical."

^ this!

Arisbottle Sun 16-Jun-13 16:05:16

We don't keep a cow in the garden, but we do buy dairy products and meat carefully . This is more expensive and more difficult than bing free range eggs which I would have thought is almost the norm now.

TheDeadlyDonkey Sun 16-Jun-13 16:50:46

I'd like to have a cow in the garden. Not sure what the neighbours would say though smile

ParadiseChick Sun 16-Jun-13 16:54:47

Ethics are all very own when the morals you are upholding are your own and you can afford them.

BaconKetchup Sun 16-Jun-13 17:13:25

sweetestcup why don't you care how chickens are treated? is it only chickens or does that extend to all animals?

RoooneyMara Sun 16-Jun-13 17:33:02

I'd like to see much better welfare for dairy animals too, but ideally we wouldn't eat anything from cows unless it was 'spare' - the dairy industry is dependant on the veal industry rather more than is comfortable.

I was a vegan for a long time, vegetarian for even longer.
I was extreme...then I realised we can't control our society, sometimes certain things are difficult to fight against and we just have to roll with them.
Being vegan, esp with children can make you very unpopular and hard to cater for, travelling and going out become a massive planning issue and shops aren't geared up to say what you can and cannot eat, not very clearly anyway.

Being veggie is much less scary. What we can do however is TRY. We can try and get organic milk. We can try and cut down on the animal based stuff we use. We can buy free range eggs where possible (they don't cost that much more - I give ours away)

and we can try and buy outdoor reared, free range meat too. That's what we do when we buy meat to cook - which we rarely do. Much of the time we eat veggie as it's just easier in many ways, and cheaper.

It's not perfect but it's a start and it's a compromise, for the time being. Trying to be veggie in the 80s was a nightmare. It's much easier now - and I hope that trend continues.

Chunderella Sun 16-Jun-13 19:33:47

It is quite amusing to me that someone would compare a womans right to autonomy over her own body with hens and then call others offensive. Personally I don't much care about animal welfare and am happy to say so. I don't buy eggs at all, not because I'm at all interested in the hens but because I don't like them. I buy decent chicken because the cheap stuff is rank, not because of a deep concern for how the animal lived. If I were poor, perhaps I'd still avoid cheap chicken but it would be because I prefer pulses to value stuff if so. This is because I matter more than animals, a view shared probably by more of the planet than oppose it.

WMittens Sun 16-Jun-13 19:52:47


I do care about animal welfare btw but I'd always prioritise a human over a chicken.

"There is no virtue in feeding a live fish to a starving dog."

You would always prioritise a human over a chicken? So if you had to choose to save Ian Huntley or a chicken from pain and death, you would choose Huntley? There are plenty of humans that I would leave in a burning building in favour of animals.

WMittens Sun 16-Jun-13 19:54:49


You know, historically, in parts of Europe, wolves predated upon humans

Urgh. It's "preyed", damn it.

sweetestcup Sun 16-Jun-13 19:56:02

sweetestcup why don't you care how chickens are treated? is it only chickens or does that extend to all animals?

Only the ones me and my family eat!

BaconKetchup Sun 16-Jun-13 19:58:33

How unfeeling of you

EugenesAxe Sun 16-Jun-13 20:01:12

YANBU - any inanimate object telling me what to do tends to evoke a 'fuck off' from me.

Only yesterday I read a recipe that said 'try to use organic or responsibly sourced salmon'. I would always use the latter, but I did begrudge being told I should.

BaconKetchup Sun 16-Jun-13 20:05:47

Surely a recipe in itself is 'telling you what to do' hmm

sweetestcup Sun 16-Jun-13 20:06:36

If you say so.

sweetestcup Sun 16-Jun-13 20:07:06

Chickens arent pets to me, they are food.

BaconKetchup Sun 16-Jun-13 20:10:13

They aren't pets to me either, but I still think it's sad how they are treated.

ParadiseChick Sun 16-Jun-13 20:13:34

Recipes should tell you what to do, yes, as in mix this with that and chuck it in the oven for 35 minutes.

Recipes aren't there to reconfigure your moral compass.

ohnoudidnt Sun 16-Jun-13 20:14:42

Some people are just disgraceful.I started a debate about this a few years back,and it is very sad to see some folk have not changed one bit.... Putting a few pence before the quality of a life towards a living creature.Makes my blood boil,especially when they could easily substitute another item and pay the extra but no....which says quite clearly to me it is nothing to do with being hard up,just that they simply do not give a shit.
Completely agree with Rooney.....

sweetestcup Sun 16-Jun-13 20:15:33

I'm sure it is, but budget trumps that I'm afraid. Generally I buy large packs of chicken breasts out of the cash and carry monthly and if I run out then I would buy the value ones form Asda etc. Taste fine to me.

ParadiseChick Sun 16-Jun-13 20:18:10

Disgraceful? I would suggest keeping the insults for those who deserve them, like proper nasty people, not this choosing different eggs than you.

sweetestcup Sun 16-Jun-13 20:21:04

Oh here we go.

ohnoudidnt Sun 16-Jun-13 20:23:04

When I was at my local supermarket on Friday, a woman had a trolley overflowing with branded goods....radox , cathedral city cheese, etc and then chose the cheapest eggs.... I honestly thought why could she not swop just one item out of that mountain of a basket and pay a little extra towards eggs that the bird has had a little better life? Some people.

ohnoudidnt Sun 16-Jun-13 20:24:34

Yes Paradise. Disgraceful.....being that we are discussing this issue

RoooneyMara Sun 16-Jun-13 20:26:53

Chunderella, reading this back I have to agree with you I sound like a twit. smile Sorry

Chunderella Sun 16-Jun-13 20:30:40

No problems. Fair play for being willing to take it back.

RoooneyMara Sun 16-Jun-13 20:32:46

I should never post when sleep deprived. It all made so much sense when I had just woken up blush

ParadiseChick Sun 16-Jun-13 20:42:54

Perspective. Get some.

Uh, I could weigh in with my own perspective but methinks its a moot point, I'm irish and around my area at least I can see the animals I'm getting my milk, cheese and eggs from by looking out my bedroom window. They look happy enough as long as I'm not taking shortcuts through their fields.

Free range and organic eggs do make a palpable difference to the quality of your cakes. The few times I had to use cheap eggs in a pinch, my cakes came out paler, tougher and went stale faster.

Plus if you go to America where so much produce is factory farmed, you can see it before you taste it. The shells on the eggs are white, the butter is beige and runny and tastes of nothing, the cheese is like plastic. They put cilantro on everything to cover up the taste of banality.

PoppettyPing Sun 16-Jun-13 21:05:53

So just because we "matter" more than animals, we don't need to give a flying fuck about how they're treated? Why is it so hard to have a scrap of compassion for another living creature?

WMittens Sun 16-Jun-13 22:02:54


Plus if you go to America where so much produce is factory farmed, you can see it before you taste it. The shells on the eggs are white,

The shell colour is down to the breed of the chicken that laid it, not the quality of the egg or the quality of the care they've received.

KobayashiMaru Sun 16-Jun-13 22:07:17

you only use a couple of eggs a week> Don't you bake for your children? Tut tut.

Right so organic eggs tend to be ok? When I find someone locally who keeps chickens then I buy eggs but at the moment there's no one

RoooneyMara Mon 17-Jun-13 10:27:04

No, I very rarely bake for my children. You try it with a small baby on one arm. It's a bit hazardous.

Oh just pop her in the bouncy chair and she'll gurgle happily while watching you.
<ducks the flying eggs>
Hey, are they free range?

I am currently making a recipe which requires "extra virgin olive oil". Fine, but that's in addition to "olive oil".
Are they really that different?!

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