Now, regardless of what a certain site would have you believe, we spend very little time bashing the free-range movement (or addressing it at all). While we insist that many free-range establishments are not appreciably different from their counterparts, we will stipulate that in some circumstances, animals are better off living under free-range conditions than those found on "conventional" farms. Moreover, speaking pragmatically, we concur that some free-range provisions or laws might be necessary steps on the way toward true change.
That said, let's take a closer look at the issue.
The United Egg Producers, proud prodders of chickens, explain the matter with an utter lack of bias!
And we're right there with them. Who was it who tried to peddle that free range malarkey to the chickens?
Freedom? The chance to rejoin the natural world, with its, you know, environments and, like, weather and puddles? What kind of monster would lie to a bird about the fictitious benefits of a freely ranging existence? It gives one pause.
All along, we knew that free range was a scam! Chickens are obviously better off in cramped cages, where they, um… Wait. What?
Sorry. We just… Hmm? Oh, um, where were we?
That's right: the evils of free range.
You see, chickens (like any sentient beings worth their salt) prefer not to be preyed upon. Though they find themselves outfitted as for war, with their GI rifles and helmets, they would rather be done with the whole bloody business.
Still, we confess we never knew they preferred a lifetime of imprisonment.
It's at this point where our credulity is almost (almost) strained.
Not wishing to be snatched up by a hawk? Fair enough.
Not wanting to get rained on? Well… maybe.
But fearing criticism for the oniony flavor of the unfertilized eggs your captivity was established to produce and profit from?
Then again, if the chickens say so.
All in all, a persuasive argument against free range. Like we've (not actually) always said, it's a hoax!
(Thanks to Dr. John V. for the referral.)