So we were in Asda yesterday, looking at the total lack of free range chicken in the cabinets, and unable to see even the shelf labels where they should be. She-who-has-decided-to-take-a-stand went to Customer Services to ask about it, and the lady there said they must be sold out, as sales had risen since this week's programmes on Channel 4 about the chicken industry. Fair enough, except . . .
There followed a surreal little chat that showed Hugh and Jamie still have a long way to go... "I was shocked by the cruel way they're killed" and "But you know Hugh has a shop where he's selling chickens for £20 or more". And those two facts completely negated the whole principle in the (admittedly clearly tiny) mind of the customer services lady - she'd watched the programmes, and managed to entirely not understand the words being spoken.
Although killing animals doesn't look cute, it was actually humane - they are stunned before their throats are cut, and how else would you kill them? And Hugh's shop (just one shop in the whoooole country, so it's not like we're going to drive to Axminster to get a shockingly expensive bird) was just not relevant, although to be fair it was catastrophocally bad PR to open it in the same period, because there are always those desperate to find a conspiracy or ulterior motive.
And she just hadn't got the whole principle that it's how they live during their compressed lives that is the issue. And the flavour. Sigh. I'm not sure I saw anything that I hadn't been aware of, although watching day-old chicks being gassed on Jamie Oliver's show (which was a bit too cheery and celebrity-laden to have a major impact, I think) brought out the sentimentality in the audience very effectively. I don't think those two programmes will change the world just yet, although it does seem to have prompted several of the supermarkets to publish positive-sounding policy promises. I don't think Asda is one of them though.