Free-range food a can of worms

But Lara Whybrow, who runs an ethical farming website, says the law “is too vague”.

Scott agrees: “There is no such thing as a ‘happy’ chicken; all suffer from birth to death. Although free-range birds might be a little happier than their factory-farmed counterparts, they still live in sheds where as many as 20000 birds are closed in at night.

“I have been to large retailers’ free-range farms and the hens had their toes clipped off, as do factory- farmed birds, and many suffered from bald patches, as do their factory-farmed cousins.”

The CEO of the South African Poultry Association, Kevin Lovell, said: “The only way to really know when you are getting free-range products is to rely on the audit systems of the retailers.”

The Times asked the four major grocery retailers how they determined free-range chicken or beef.

Shoprite, Pick n Pay and Woolworths said they had high standards that animals should be outside during the day. They all have external auditors who check farms that supply the meat. Spar did not respond to queries.


read full article:

Free-range Labelling in South Africa: No harm, no ‘fowl’?

To get clarification on the subject, I consulted Lara Wybrow from Ethical Suppliers South Africa. The expert stresses that in respect to South Africa’s red meat industry there are free-range protocols as monitored by SAMIC. These differ just like poultry from supplier to supplier. If you look at  Spier’s Free Range Protocol and compare them with Woolworths specifications, you will see that they are different. Whereas Spier’s is quite detailed, Woolworths only talks about the five freedoms.

 Nonetheless, Wybrow remains confident about the future. It’s a step into the right direction for her. She believes that the consumer interest will increase the animal welfare standards as time progresses. From her perspective, anything is better than feedlots, battery hen systems and pigs and other animals being kept indoors 24/7, never seeing grass, mud, the sun or fresh air. Nonetheless, she is especially concerned about the low standards for free-range chicken farming.

She says that the main difference between the two (free-range and non) is the amount of chickens allowed per square meter. “With free-range they need access to an outside pasture area. But the problem is that because of overcrowded conditions, sometimes the chickens don’t go outside anyway as they are too scared to leave the food and water because they have to fight their way back. Or the doors are too small so the chickens don´t even know there is an outside area! I know this sounds strange but it´s true.”

Her main concern is that there´s only a draft bill on free-range regulations so suppliers and farmers are free to interpret it the way they want. She works with farmers on a daily basis, so I asked her about her experiences.

“I have come across many farmers who think free-range means anything as long as they are not in cages. But they have hugely overcrowded poultry sheds and the chickens never go outside. Chickens need to go outside in a large pasture area where there is sand, grass and shade which farmers often don’t provide. This in turn prevents chickens from roaming outside. Simply keeping them fed and giving them water and shelter is not enough.”

read full article here:

SA importing Argentine, Ukrainian yellow maize, orders Mexican white

South Africa, which needs to import millions of tonnes of maize this year because of drought, will source hundreds of thousands of tonnes of white maize in the coming months from Mexico, likely beginning in May, local and foreign traders said.

White maize is the staple source of calories for most South African households but shortages are looming, driving up domestic food prices and inflation.

South Africa is also set to receive 228,400 tonnes of the yellow variety of the grain in the coming days, according to Thomson Reuters’ interactive shipping map.

Domestic maize prices in South Africa are near recently-scaled record highs because of the drought. The government’s Crop Estimates Committee has forecast the crop will be 27 percent lower in 2016 at 7.255 million tonnes.

South Africa consumes around 10 million tonnes of maize annually and so far this marketing season, which ends on April 30, has imported 1.4 million tonnes, around 95 percent of which has been yellow maize, mostly used for animal feed.

South Africa’s corn conundrum stems from the fact that while yellow maize is grown widely grown elsewhere and easily sourced, the white version outside of the region can only be sourced from Mexico and the United States.

The July white maize contract is trading at R4,881 a tonne, near its record of 5,179 rand hit in January. It is currently at a 50 percent premium to yellow maize , which ended Wednesday at 3,260 rand.

Thomson Reuters’ Eikon interactive map, which tracks ships including their cargoes and destinations, shows that six vessels will deliver yellow maize from Argentina to South African ports between now and March 17. One ship with 25,000 tonnes from Ukraine will also be offloading.


read full article at:

Animal Cruelty Name and Shame Time Again!

I see this a lot, but every now and then I just get even more angry than usual and I have to name, shame, share, do whatever it takes to expose the way that eggs are farmed and how absolutely disgusting it is! Almost as disgusting as everyone else giving this man a pat on the back for doing such a “good” job! And this is normal and accepted by society!

I will update this post with comments, sometimes they are really funny for example “these animals are fine” or ” I am just trying to make a living” RUBBISH – hens come back every night, they don’t need to be caged. What you are seeing here is greed for more profit or just laziness. Why pay staff to pick up eggs?


more animal cruelty egg farming SILVER NDLOVU NAME AND SHAME

This popular program recommends a vaccine almost every day for meat chickens

I was totally shocked when I saw this program recommended by a FREE RANGE farmer for broilers (meat chickens). A vaccine almost every day – can you believe it?? Imagine you or your children getting a vaccine so often – and how could an organism or its living conditions be so unhealthy that it requires such drastic preventative measures against disease? Don’t forget that broilers only live for about a month, maybe a month and a half so this poor animal is getting a vaccine nearly every day for almost his whole life!

I am disgusted by the way meat is produced and the fact that this is from a free range farmer only serves to remind me why I decided to take meat off Ethical Suppliers in Dec 2015.

a vaccinne a day for broilers

Tiger Brands Defends Gassing of Pigs But That Is Not The Worst Part

A concerned member of the public, Dorothy Watkins, recently contacted Ethical Suppliers regarding Tiger Brands’
pig gassing
gassing of pigs. Pork constitutes a large precentage of processed meat products because pork is tasty and relatively
cheap to raise as pigs eat pretty much anything, even garbage, and have litters consisting of multiple babies. Like any animal raised for meat in a factory farm, they live an absolutely horrendous life, as you can see. Cramped unnatural conditions, no ability to wallow in mud, lie around in the shade, just eat, sleep and reproduce. And the reproduction is the worst part as sow crates are used. Sow crates are tiny little cages that the sow must spend her whole gestation period in, and she can barely move in it. Google it, it is absolutely disgusting and I can’t comprehend how people allow it. But there are many activists fighting for the abolishment of sow crates.

To be honest, many factory farmed animals’ lives are so horrible it is a blessing when they are eventually sick pork factoryslaughtered, but the slaughtering process is terribly frightening and painful for animals. Nothing is as good as just letting the animal live a natural life and have a natural death, except for when the animal is in pain and needs to be put down. This is the most humane way to end an animal’s life but is not used in farm animals because the barbiturates stay in the flesh and could have a negative impact on people. But I am quite sure that science can come up with a solution but this research will cost money and the greedy corporations like Tiger Brands, who produce a LOT of the products you see on the shelves, will not spend a cent extra than they have to. You can see the article about how they gas the pigs here. The NSPCA approached Tiger Brands with alternatives but they were too costly. So in order to feed people’s addiction for cheap meat the animals must suffer. How anyone can be ok with that is beyond me, especially when we have large populations of people for example in India who live very happily on a vegetarian diet.

It is because of the horrible experience of being slaughtered that Ethical Suppliers eventually decided to remove meat products from the shop. There is little point in promoting free range meat if the slaughtering process is so inhumane as to violate animal rights in such a big way. If you were on the other end of the stick you would fight for your freedom, no sentient being that experiences pain wants to die. The link below shows fairly standard slaughtering procedures for pigs. It is unbearable to watch, but if you eat a lot of meat I want you to watch this and think about it the next time you eat your bacon…

There are many petitions you can sign to help improve animal’s lives and you can even start your own using sites like Avaaz and Care2 etc (see this page for list of activist groups) but boycotting the corporations that produce these products is the best way to starve them a bit till they rectify the situation (if ever). Going vegetarian is the best way to not be a part of the disgusting and cruel meat industry, even free range is not good enough but it is better than factory farming so if you have friends and family who INSIST on eating meat, look for free range butcheries such as Braeside Butchery and the Gourmet Butcher in JHB, and Farmer Angus in the Western Cape, CT Organics in KZN.



Adopted Battery Hen Rehabilitation

Battery hens produce 80% of the eggs used in the world (that was a conservative estimate but I’m sure it’s actually even more), and this kind of factory farming is one of the most abominable things man has done to Nature. For about a year, or half it’s life basically, the hens are kept in small cages and not allowed to dust bathe, forage for insects and greens, and generally just be free and happy. They are kept in cages only because it makes their price cheaper because you don’t need to spend so much time or manpower collecting eggs. actual

Pictured here is an actual battery hen operation by a small scale farmer in South Africa. They are overcrowded and small. All they can do is eat and lay eggs, for a year, until they are roughly bundled into cages and sent off to the abattoir or sold live in informal settlements. In the latter case, the hens are often without shade for the whole day, and with the current heatwave in the highveld at the moment this really half kills the hens.

An animal lover by the name of Cindy (thanks Cindy!) has adopted 2 battery hens Photo-0025and I have adopted the other 2 so a total of 4 hens were rehabilitated this weekend. It was horrible for me to see these poor animals with red diseased looking wounds by their undersides, and their bodies felt fragile and brittle. It really broke my heart I actually wore sunglasses just to hide the tears. I put them in their own outside room so that they could feel safe and gave them food and water and left the door open. When I checked up on them, they were outside and on the earth for the first time in their lives. They were able to walk around and nibble on grass and insects and other things, which they had never done before – they were literally fed the same thing every day for their whole lives.

The picture of them looks much better than the reality. Their feathers look white, and the pink bald spot looks not too bad. But actually the skin on the whole underside of their bodies was red and inflamed looking, and the feathers were matted, broken off, and filthy.

I have taken a picture of one of my hens, see how fluffy and clean her feathers look. And no bald patches at all, just thick healthy fluffy feathers.


The males suffer an almost worse state. They are usually not kept in cages (but still not free to go outside) but with many of them towards the end of their lives they are so heavy that their legs can’t cope and they spend a lot of time lying around, not roosting on perches as they would normally, and as a result they get inflamed and infected skin as you can see Photo-0022in this picture.

These are extreme cases but they are VERY common and ALL the animals suffer a high level of physical discomfort and unhygienic, unnatural conditions.

KFC, McDonalds, all chicken in Pick n Pay, Checkers, Spar etc, they all use chicken from factory farms that keep chickens from living happy, healthy lives.

Here you can see one hen and one rooster. This rooster’s legs are so powerful, he has no problem running around and he is HUGE, about 3kg I estimate. If we switch to free range meat we can have the same thing under better circumstances we just need to use our massive buying power, which is the only power in this world of money worship, to improve the lives of animals.

Compare this picture of my chickens having an absolute ball, and tell me:


to get involved in adopting battery hens contact or call 011 818 0153 or whatsapp 071 930 5697. Hens usually cost R50 each.


KFC Chicken – Animal Abuse In Most Cases of Chicken Farming

If you have always wondered how your meat and animal products are produced, here’s how. On this website, modern farming is also called factory farming or conventional farming. Over the next few articles I will share the basics of modern food production. What you are about to read is not pleasant, and represents one of the most crucial things we need to change in our world along with other issues such as abuse, poverty, hunger etc.

Chickens raised for KFC and other chicken products have horrible lives in factory farms. Factory farming produces most of the food that the average South African eats and this food might as well be produced in a test tube for all the humanity that is in it. If the corporations could grow our food in a test tube they would, and believe me this kind of scenario is not far off! I have already heard they are looking at cloning cows!

Since many people are not aware where their food comes from and how the animals live, it can be hard to find out at first because of all the industry jargon and polished imagery. To test this, I tried to imagine that I knew nothing about farming, didn’t even know what a broiler (male chicken bred for meat) was, and Googled questions I imagined the average curious South African would ask. Such as

where does kfc get their chicken in south africa

I let Google autosuggest so that I know these are the most popular search terms. The first result is Rainbow Chickens. After a search on their website I could not find any pictures of the actual chicken farms. They are clever that way, they will have pictures of their chicken burgers, but none of the farms. So let me help you out here. This is a contract farm for Goldi Chickens, not Rainbow Chickens but the farming method is the same.

Goldi Chicken Farm NON Free Range Chicken













These are young chickens (chicks) in a large poultry barn which usually has no open windows or doors. The barn is temperature controlled and fluorescent lighting is used to regulate the chickens behavior. For example if they are not putting on weight fast enough the lights will be left on longer to encourage the chickens to eat more. Which is incredible because they already put on weight and grow at an alarming pace – it takes about 2 months for these chickens, known as broilers, to reach the age at which they will be slaughtered. Sometimes they grow too fast and their bodies can’t keep up so they become lame and can’t move. Because there are so many, they are not always removed quick enough and many have open wounds from sitting in their excrement for too long. Chickens are not just dumb animals that only care about eating. They are active, curious creatures and enjoy freedom, sunshine and fresh air just as much as any creature including you and me. They love scratching in the dirt, something they don’t have in the factory farms as pictured above and they are probably bored to death, unhealthy and depressed.

Below are some pictures of factory farm chickens close to the time when their short miserable lives are about to be over. After that are some pictures of my personal flock of chickens so that you can see what a healthy happy flock looks like. To buy free range chicken go to the online shop or contact the suppliers directly by searching through the site on the left. To start your own free range farm contact me on

broiler shed broiler-chickens-slide4 broiler-chickens-slide8 PEW_Big_Chicken














































personal free range chickens 2














Goldi chicken contract farmer we found on Facebook (plus pics of one of my own chickens)

Picture below of a typical broiler farm in South Africa. Broiler = chicken burger, KFC, chicken nuggets, chicken samoosas, chicken a la king….

A non free range chicken leads a disgusting, boring, uncomfortable and unnatural life. These poor animals are kept inside all the time. They never feel the warm sun on their backs, take a flying run down the field, never eat a juicy bug – all things that they love to do! Please compare the two – if the prices were the same which would you choose?

Most chicken is produced like this

Most chicken is produced like this



















This is one of the members of my personal chicken flock. A blue leghorn pullet (young female chicken) walks next to my Jack Russel dog in companionable silence.

This is one of the members of my personal chicken flock. A blue leghorn pullet (pullet = young female chicken) walks next to my Jack Russel dog in companionable silence.