Wednesday, December 10, 2008

With stitchmarkers on the side

I made a smoked trout salad for lunch of which I'm kind of proud - tasted lovely too! You can see my pea stitch markers on the side - they wanted in on the shot! Each pea has their own expression. Mostly all smiles. Smiley peas.

While eating my smoked trout salad, I caught Oprah (one of the joys of working from home is the occasional TV break). It was a show about free range versus factory farming of animals, related to Proposition 2. I couldn't believe it when the factory pig farmer declared that he thought his animals were happy, but that you can't tell with pigs! Seriously? Has he never seen a pig living a normal pig life? Because if you did, you would be able to tell that pigs are very expressive about their levels of happiness. His pigs had been penned for their whole lives... and in tiny pens. No wonder they didn't express anything!

My two bantams, Fifi and Lola, have never known a caged or barned existence. They are sometimes grumpy, sometimes irritating, sometimes cheerful, but they are incredibly expressive about what they think and feel. They have distinct calls for everything from "there's a cat!!!!" to "when on earth are you coming to feed us?" When Mimi and Coco first arrived, beaks clipped, they had sort of dead eyes and were kind of freaky. I can only say they looked like caged animals. After a few weeks, they turned into rather greedy, mischievous, bossy hens who love to run across the lawn to see if I have something to eat handy. When Mimi doesn't want to go to bed in the big hen house, she has this look in her eye of ultimate sadness and despair. When I get home, they range at the gate, appealing to me to let them out. They are all proper hens now.

Although... it's getting difficult to make sure Lola and Fifi get any treats when two big hungry featherballs descend...

While I'll never be vegetarian - because, basically, I accept that the natural world is full of animals eating and being eaten! - I do like to try to ensure that animals have a happy, relatively natural life and that they aren't treated with cruelty or ignorance. I'm intelligent enough to know I don't have to do that. And if it means I eat a little less meat or that fast food joints go out of business... can't say I'm really all that sad about that. Not if it means a pig can give a piggie grin in the middle of a muddy field!

And on that note, aside from the arrival of a batch of Peaches & Cream with which to knit dishclothes, that's all folks.

1 comment:

Chooks'r'us said...

LOL! No, you don't have strange chickens - I have seen the girls standing in the rain, tails drooping, soaked through. They haven't done it for a while and seem to have learned to put themselves back in the Dome now when it really pours down - like it did on Friday.