I go on about what I call happy food. Happy chickens, sustainability, food production, fish resources, the wrongs of feed lots and many other things that make people roll their eyes and make mental notes NOT to invite me to dinner.
But the truth is, as an animals rights activist, what I eat and where it comes from, matters to me. As it does to Grootbos.
Here, their Growing the Future project includes free-range chicken and egg farming, in the true sense of the word, with the happiest chickens you could hope to meet.
As the sign teaches, in their natural environment chickens are omnivores that scratch for seeds, worms and insects as part of their varied diet. As they do here in their large enclosure. In return they provide eggs for consumption and manure for composting and adding nitrogen to the soil. Symbiosis.
The photo doesn’t offer enough of an idea of space as they all came to the fence to greet us, but its a lovely big shady area surrounded by fruit trees and vegetables. Which makes me wonder why this little girl is constantly trying to get out … They call her their Houdini.
“Greener on the other side?” Not for the majority of chickens being farmed around the world. Stay where you are sweet happy chicken.