Why do we need to ban factory-farmed chickens?
Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall have both been on TV recently explaining that battery farming techniques are terrible and people should stop buying food farmed in such conditions. Fair enough – I only ever buy Free Range.
Certainly Jamie has been calling for a ban. A ban doesn’t solve the problem. People currently have a choice. They can either care about animal welfare or they can have cheaper food. And large numbers of people choose to have cheaper food. Banning battery farming won’t make free range farming cheaper overnight. You and I might be able to
absorb the cost but what about everyone else? They aren’t choosing the nicer version now – there must be a reason.
The drive to ban activities is a dangerous one. It comes from intellectuals wanting to force their enlightened views on others. Spend the money on education if you must change behaviour. Just banning it doesn’t solve the problem – changing people’s minds so they feel it’s worth spending more is better. That way people still have a choice and supermarkets will stop stocking goods when people stop buying them.