Archive for April 9th, 2012

The Atlantic on Chicken Welfare

This article addresses the new Egg Products Inspection Act, which it later refers to as “lipstick on a pig.”

In the industrial egg factories where most of America’s eggs are laid, the newly introduced Egg Products Inspection Act would, if passed, make life easier. The bill grew from a compromise between United Egg Producers and the Humane Society of the United States. It would mandate replacing the nation’s 280 million chicken-sized battery cages as they’re called with group cages equipped with amenities like dust baths and perches, while banning some of the cruelest practices associated with egg farming.

To learn more about supporting this act, go to the Humane Society’s webpage. 

You can read the text of the bill here. 

To nix this bill (see Scott’s comment below), go to Stop the Rotten Egg Bill (

9 April, 2012: In Praise of Chickens author lecture and signing

 Special Lecture & Book Signing
Monday, April 9 at 7pm-8:30pm – $8 at Door Cash or Check to Wicker Park Garden Club
Jane Smith – Speaker 
Author – PhD. Northwestern University
Wicker Park Field House – 1425 N. Damen
Reservations Required –
PARKING: Parking on Damen, Schiller, LeMoyne, Wicker Park Avenue
Metered Parking on Milwaukee
CTA: BLUE Line (Damen/Milwaukee/North Ave Stop) walk 2 blocks south
BUSES: Damen Avenue, North Ave., Milwaukee Ave, Division Ave.

Reserve a Seat – $8 at door

Reserve a Book – $14.95 at door

In Praise of Chickens, a breezy tour of chicken wisdom from Aristotle to Mark Twain, with many beautiful antique illustrations, is now available from booksellers everywhere.

Ever wonder if chickens have their very own vocabulary, how to get hens to lay in winter, or why churches have weathervanes shaped like roosters? Can’t remember which royal court it was where the ladies hatched eggs in their bosoms? Whether you want the earliest recorded instructions on how to hypnotize a chicken (1646) or nineteenth-century tips on sending a year’s supply of fresh eggs to your child in college, you’ll find the answer here, along with portraits of prize-winning breeds both fierce and fluffy.

In Praise of Chickens is full of information both practical and frivolous (and who can have enough of either sort?), wonderful pictures, and ample poultry trivia for at least a year of dinner party or Chicken Meet-Up conversations.
Jane S. Smith writes about the intersection of science, business, popular taste, and social history. She received her B.A. from Simmons College and her Ph.D. from Yale University and has taught at Northwestern University on topics ranging from twentieth century fiction to the history of public health. She lives in Chicago, where she works in a very small room with a very large window.