Chicken Farming Made Ethical
by Michelle McConnell
With the growing concern of environmental degradation caused by factory farming, the toxic chemicals in meat, and the ethical dilemma of animals living life in tiny cages, it's becoming increasingly difficult to justify eating meat, isn't it?
If only there was a family friendly, community supported and ethical option nearby for both farmers and consumers! Well now there is. The Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) would like to present to you the first ever Artisanal Chicken Program.
What is this Artisanal Chicken Program, you ask? It is a program directly aimed at farmers who are interested in farming between 600 and 3000 chickens annually in an ethical, non-toxic and waste reducing way. The chickens will be brought to you directly from farmers at local farmers' markets.
What makes this different from other programs? This program is closely regulated to meet the highest consumer standard while also developing sustainable practices in the Ontario regions. It follows a strictly monitored plan enforced by a license and strict guidelines for all the farmers who pass the application process.
The program was first developed about seven months ago, following a public consultation with the Chicken Farmers of Ontario board, consumers and community members, government stakeholders and members of the chicken-processing sector.
The Chicken Farmers of Ontario is interested in supporting expanded business opportunities for chicken farmers, while offering Ontario consumers more choice in locally grown meats. It's a great way to practice sustainability while also meeting consumer demands.
"CFO is continually looking to meet the changing needs of Ontario chicken consumers and markets," said Henry Zantingh, Chair of Chicken Farmers of Ontario.
"This new program will help farmers fill local food and seasonal markets and will give Ontario consumers more choice and options in how and where they buy locally grown chicken."
Michelle McConnell is interested in social justice, peace and environmental issues. You can follow her on Twitter @Mich_McConnell.
The PERC thanks the above organizations for their support.
Thank you to Sustainable Eastern Ontario, the Community Foundation of Ottawa, and the Ontario Trillium Foundation for sponsoring the Winter 2015-2016 edition of the PEN.