The older I get the more I lean towards non-commercial production of animals for consumption. What does that mean? That means not eating chickens from chicken barns, not buying beef that has been transported on semis headed for feed lots, not eating pork that has been raised in pork barns. Oh I get it. I get the economics of these entities. I get the impact they have on communities. Can you imagine Brooks, Alberta without a feed lot? Or the Saskatchewan chicken barns which supply product to KFC or the pig barns that employ entire communities.
Is it better that I buy 4H beef which has been hand raised – so essentially I have some young person’s pet on my dinner plate but hey, it lived a good life. I haven’t been able to commit to a vegetarian regime. But concerns over how animals, regardless of what they are, exist until they are killed for our consumption, may give rise to support things like backyard chickens. There is actually a researcher at the University of Saskatchewan would like to see Saskatoon join the growing list of Canadian cities that allow backyard chickens…she is examining urban agricultural options with a focus on raising chickens in backyards. As long as those chickens don’t include roosters, I’m all for it. In fact, I’d love to try my hand at having a backyard chicken coop and I think the next time the City of Saskatoon has the subject put before them; they should try and design a pilot project to try it out.