Free Range in a Bag?

We recently found ourselves in an unfamiliar pet supply store through bad planning on our part. Let me explain.

We use places like Petco as a poor man’s aquarium and a source of entertainment for our grandson.

Laugh if you will, but it works. He also loves walking through the lighting section at Home Depot, and there is no admission fee.

Since he now recognizes many places, i.e. Dunkin’, McDonalds, and Petco, when we made the mistake of driving to Petco without checking to see if it was open, we faced a crisis.

Hell  may have no fury like a woman scorned, but a two-year old set on seeing the fish, birds, and mice, and told it wasn’t open yet, comes pretty darn close.

Thus we searched for “Pet stores near me” on Google maps. And we found an alternative.

On arrival, we discovered this place harbored no live creatures, merely supplies and pet food. Our walking around browsing didn’t seem to phase the store employee, so we wandered around.

Yeah, until we killed them, boiled off the feathers, ground them into little pieces, and packaged them up for Fido to devour.

Thankfully, the lack of live critters didn’t matter to Levi. It was a new and exciting place to explore.

But what caught my eye was a display of refrigerated dog food. On the bag, in a grand proclamation of why one should consider this food for one’s beloved dog, was a somewhat contradictory declaration

The contents of the bag held chicken from Cage Free Chickens.

This, I assume, was intended to spark images of happy chickens frolicking in the sun, happily running to and fro, free from the horrors of a cage.

Yeah, until we killed them, boiled off the feathers, ground them into little pieces, and packaged them up for Fido to devour.

But we are supposed to take comfort because they lived a cage free life? Given the choice, I bet the chickens would prefer to leave this planet via natural causes.

Now, before anyone thinks I’ve gone vegan, let me make it clear. I love chicken, steak, fish  ham, and all other of evolution’s creatures cooked to perfection.

But if we have to assuage our conscience with disingenuous labeling, it makes us all food hypocrites.

Think about it. Given the opportunity, most dogs would take delight in chasing down and personally terminating with extreme prejudice any chicken found frolicking outside the cage.

Trust me on that. We had two Yorkies who were serial chicken killers. Cage Free wasn’t even a consideration to Ralph and Max. Vulnerability was key.

Cage Free, indeed. It should read cage free before execution. Let’s at least be honest about it, and not a bunch of chickens.

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