by MPD
Categories: Animals, Eats, People
Tags: .

As Ecorazzi reported earlier, a few masters of the British cuisine (if you can call English food, cuisine…I joke) have been doing their part to shed light on the horrible realities of factory farming.  And now it looks like Mr. Jamie Oliver has caused quite the stir.  

The details of this whole thing are pretty confusing, so let me try and break it down for you 3rd grade style (get out your Lisa Frank pencil bag). Ok, so Jamie Oliver has been very vocal about the fact he thinks the way animals (specifically chickens) are raised and killed for food is inhumane (which it is).  Now, Jamie is also the spokesperson for Sainsbury’s, which has strongly promoted its ethical credentials with animals and hired Oliver as proof of their commitment to quality.  Sainsbury’s and Oliver had been working well together…UNTIL last week when Sainsbury’s failed to attend a debate on Oliver’s show regarding the welfare of chickens.  In response to their lack of attendance, Oliver said, “I am really upset. The question is why didn’t they come? What is there to hide? It is shocking the people I work for didn’t turn up.”

Well, those comments basically freaked Sainsbury’s the hell out and sent them into total panic mode, publishing advertisements in newspapers to try and save their “nice guy” image.  THEN, ALL OF A SUDDEN!!!!!! Oliver sent a letter to 150,000 Sainsbury’s employees saying that his comments were taken out of context and that, “Sainsbury’s has the most to be proud of on this important animal welfare issue”.  So now everyone’s thinking, “Whoa, Jamie Oliver is a total pushover, blah, blah blah.” 

BUT WAIT!!! Oliver only released the letter after a private phone call with Justin King, the CEO of Sainsbury’s, and just a few days after that meeting, Sainsbury’s announced they would be moving away from industry standards in chicken production and adopting those of the RSPCA’s Freedom Foods. The RSPCA’s status includes requirements that chickens must grow slower, can’t be genetically bred, get more room for exercise, and that they are allowed a “proper night time period” of six hours to rest.

So, that’s the whole story! Damn, that was exhausting!  Some people are saying this whole mess is just one big embarrassment for Oliver, but I think he made the right move by putting pressure on Sainsbury’s to take the next step for happier, healthier poultry. Jamie, I’ve never been out of the states, but if I ever make it to Britain I will totally volunteer my time to help you fight the good fight!! ROCK ON!!!!

story via: marketingweek

  • Nick

    Better take a look at the Alternative vets comments on RSPCA Freedom Foods and at the appalling pictures put out by Hillside Animal Rescue after they found out where some Freedom Foods farms were situated and went in to film what they found.

    http://chris-day.blogware.com/blog/_archives/2008/1/9/3455220.html

    http://cheetah.webtribe.net/~animadversion/freedomfood.htm

    Still think Jamie is right to support Freedom Foods or the RSPCA?

  • parrish

    EEKS! Thanks for the heads up Nick! Hmm..perhaps the step forward wasn’t a step at all. My recommendation: PUT DOWN THE MEAT AND ROCK THE VEG! But I’m just sayin.

  • ClearDharma

    I’ve got to agree w/Parrish. How can you act as if you’re worried that animals are not being treated with loving care when the ultimate goal is to slaughter them for our benifit? I have always wished that Bravo, FoodTV, etc… would add just one episode per season of whatever “America’s Top Carnivore Cookery Show” happens to be on that is devoted to veg/vegan cooking (Top Chef did a “pick your favorite protien” segment that had NOTHING but flesh available- shame). THAT would be a challenge I’d TIVO & show to friends.

  • http://myspace.com/pimpmytardis Fay – age 13

    Jamie’s my hero, he did right to send letters to everyone as his partners were just using him.

  • Miranda

    You’ve never been out of the states?!

  • parrish

    Afraid so, Miranda. And it gets worse…(cringes) I don’t even have a passport. I know, I know-I’ve promised myself that I would get one before I turn 25 (just 4 short months away) so perhaps this week. It’s pretty awful, right?

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