Celebrating a Better Chicken
Yesterday, Compassion in World Farming kicked off its 4th Annual Pastured Poultry Week, a weeklong event celebrating a more humane, fair, and sustainable pasture-raised chicken. Pastured Poultry Week 2015 will be held July 13-19 in Georgia, New York, and South Carolina.
Participating restaurants opt for pasture-raised chicken over conventional factory farmed chicken. Pastured Poultry Week represents a way that is better for the environment, people, and the animals.
Compassion’s US Director Leah Garces says, “Pastured Poultry Week is about shining a spotlight on hard working farmers and pioneering chefs joining forces for a single mission. They, together with conscientious eaters, are building a better world through their food and farming. They are ditching conventional factory farmed chicken for a more humane and sustainable pasture raised option. We are very proud to highlight that it’s not only possible, but thriving.”
The chefs championing pasture-raised poultry, and the consumers who support it, believe a chicken should be allowed to be a chicken. This means offering them enough room to move about freely, an enriched environment and natural light to encourage natural behavior, and genetics that don’t inherently cause suffering. Conventional factory farmed chickens are made to grow unnaturally fast; they are raised on dirty litter that is often not changed between flocks; and they are kept in overcrowded, enclosed, dimly lit barns. In contrast, raising slower growing birds on pasture is the gold standard for chicken farming.
All participating restaurants source from farms certified by Animal Welfare Approved or Global Animal Partnership Step 4 or above, or agree to adhere to strict welfare criteria in order to be accepted into the event. Restaurant patrons can be sure they are being served truly better chicken. All suppliers must use slower growing chicken breeds with continuous daytime access to pasture, weather permitting.
Last night, the Pastured Poultry Week 2015 kickoff event was held in Atlanta, GA, hosted by Chef Shaun Doty at his restaurant Bantam & Biddy. This event brought together chefs and supportive community members to celebrate the virtues of better chicken. Doty says, “We remain committed to raising awareness of the benefits of pastured poultry, which is environmentally sound, helps local economies and allows birds to live a healthy, natural life. Small individual changes collectively can make big things happen, and supporting pastured poultry supports these courageous and committed Georgia farmers.”
All participating restaurants can be found at www.ciwf.com/PPW.