What can we Learn from Cage Free Chickens?

On an early morning walk to the bagel shop I noticed they advertised cage free eggs on the sidewalk billboard. It got me thinking about the different types of eggs offered at the local markets; cage free, organic, grass fed.  So I checked it out on the internet and found out the chicken industry has a bunch of new laws regarding caging. On some chicken farms the birds are so tightly caged they can’t kick up their heels or shake out their wings.  Apparently this has a physiological effect on the eggs? Now isn’t that a scary thought when you consider human procreation? 

Then I realized this was the exact same discussion a group of friends entered into last night, at a graduation party (Congrats J), after a few glasses of wine. It was choreographed irony, here we were participating in a celebration of independence, but incapable of escaping our own self-imposed cages. We get ‘cooped’ up in dead-end jobs, restrictive diets (wheat or no wheat, milk or soy, meat or poultry), and lifestyle choices.  If we are not a size two, with glossy hair, and perfect skin then we’re unacceptable, even to ourselves. When did we start basing our value on a visually appealing body, or worse, a paycheck? A culture that favors youth above all else is doomed to fail. This kind of self-imposed stress has an enormous effect on our hearts, our minds, and our attitude. Is it possible to identify a better future and just move in that direction? 

My dad used to say, “What you think about will come about.” He was a new ager before his time. I think he meant whatever you nurture in your life will bloom. He was an avid gardener so this philosophy could be considered organic. I think he was on to something.  Why do we willing stay in caged environments? Does the word ‘chicken’ offer up any clues?  

I say we can glean something from the poultry industry. Adopt a new attitude, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.”  Put the word ‘should’ in the garbage and let’s break out of our self-imposed cages. Kick it up, spread our wings, and by the grace of God maybe even fly.

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