Interesting Article on the front page of today's Sunday Telegraph about the 'happiness' of hens which spend their entire lives locked up in battery cages. It seems that scientists at Sydney University have developed a technology for measuring the level of corticosterone in eggs, which prove that these poor creatures are no more stressed than their free range cousins - which spend their lives strutting around grassy glades and seed laden stack yards, helping themselves at the rich plate which nature provides. Well, of course they are. Because they don't know any better. And they don't have to search for food in the barren winter months, and they aren't bothered with parasites, and they enjoy a constant temperature with no rain and frost, and they're not under threat of attack from foxes who would kill them, just for the sheer hell of it. Battery hens live in a 'socialist' paradise.
They are happy and stress free. Big brother, in the form of the poultry farmer attends to their every need. They do not have to think for themselves -- best left to Big Brother. 'Health and safety' are assured by absence of predators - and they can't peck each other to death because they have been de-beaked. Their shiny faces would be the same as all those little children on the posters which proclaimed the wonderment of Mao's Cultural Revolution. Life is a doddle as long as they do exactly the same as every other hen. Mind you, step out of line in some way and its curtains. They just live in their little boxes, doing precisely what Big Brother maps out for them - and their corticosterone levels are just fine. I wonder whether any of Gordon Brown's relations are poultry farmers?
Personally, I prefer to live with my corticosterone levels going off the gauge whenever possible. Socialism is for the birds.