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I saw a container of eggs in the grocery store marked "cage free eggs". My imagination ran wild with that one. I didn’t know eggs were raised in cages. I thought they spent a few hours with their mommy chicken and then were picked up and taken to be checked, washed, polished and packed in cartons with 11 or 17 of their little egg friends. Sort of like a styrofoam school bus and each egg off to a different destination. Eggs travel all over the world to be scrambled, fried, poached, baked, deviled, hard and soft boiled, beaten, separated or made dippy.
I tried to imagine what “cage free eggs” means. Are there little herds of eggs freely roaming the farm rolling around happy and healthy playing in the sunshine? How nice for them. I'm sure the farmers only speak in soft whispers and say kind encouraging words to the soon to be cracked and devoured little chicken cells. Is an egg life lived stress free more delicious?
Eggs are one of God’s gifts to cooking. They bind all the ingredients in baking, sort of the magic glue in food. Without eggs, milk and flour I’d weigh 30 pounds less.
A lot of eggs have stamps on them now like “EB” in red ink. I heard someone complain last Easter that they couldn’t find an unmarked white egg to decorate. Are there now designer eggs with trendy logos? What’s next? Little Lacoste alligators or the Nike logo on the egg shells?
I have always had difficulty with the concept of free range chickens. Does it really matter what quality of life the chicken lives for the few weeks or months before it is slaughtered at the processing plant. When I reach into a bucket of extra crispy I don’t stop and wonder if the chicken lived a happy free range life before it became food. They say free range chickens taste better but are more expensive to raise than confined chickens. If I ever ate a free range chicken, no one told me and I didn’t notice.
People do not need to have personal relationships with their food. A chicken is like a banana. Both are raised to be eaten. One has a face the other does not.
I know some people can impose human traits to anything. From animals and pets to cars and boats. I’ve talked to some of my cars and said “good girl” and rubbed the dash board; especially when they start under difficult circumstances or poor conditions. Why do people try to humanize everything? Maybe it’s the American culture of cartoons that has given personality to everything from mice to tank engines named Thomas.
Just like most people, I do talk to pets when I meet them. We don’t talk about much, no politics or sports, just “Hi, how ya doing, who’s a good doggie?” My family has a cat that I talk to, her name is Betty. I speak to her because I can’t purr. Animals have always liked me. Maybe I smell like meat.
John can be contacted through his website; www.JohnCBieber.com

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