I’ve got a big man-crush on Jamie Oliver. And I really appreciate his latest stunt:
Last Friday, in front of 4 million television viewers and a studio audience, the chef Jamie Oliver killed a chicken. Having recently obtained a United Kingdom slaughterman’s license, Mr. Oliver staged a “gala dinner,” in fact a kind of avian snuff film, to awaken British consumers to the high costs of cheap chicken.
“A chicken is a living thing, an animal with a life cycle, and we shouldn’t expect it will cost less than a pint of beer in a pub,” he said Monday in an interview.
“It only costs a bit more to give a chicken a natural life and a reasonably pleasant death,” he told the champagne-sipping audience before he stunned the chicken, cut an artery inside its throat, and let it bleed to death, all in accordance with British standards for humane slaughter.
Mr. Oliver said that he wanted people to confront the reality that eating any kind of meat involves killing an animal, even if it is done with a minimum of pain.
I was at the supermarket this morning and they had a special on chicken pieces: $1.29 a pound. That’s a cheaper price per pound than broccoli, green apples or naval oranges. In fact, if it hadn’t been for a special on gala apples – 99 cents a pound – everything in the produce section besides yellow onions and loose carrots would have more been more expensive than the chicken.
Needless to say, meat really shouldn’t be this cheap. Such low prices are only possible because of factory poultry farms, which are a fucking abomination. And if the ethical considerations don’t keep you from buying cheap chicken – and the ethics should really be enough – keep in mind that, in my experience, humanely raised chicken tastes much better (i.e., it tastes like an actual chicken, and not just the kind of watery protein mush that normally passes for chicken breast.)