Friday, February 17, 2017

Surge of ‘battery eggs’ and easy money for Tanzania

Freddy Macha

Freddy Macha 

By Freddy Macha

A few months ago I received an email from someone in Tanzania praising the easy way of making money with battery eggs.

“You don’t need months or years toiling to raise eggs and chicken. This method is easy, and it guarantees you quick bucks.”

Something like that.

I wrote to the email sender, asking if he really understood the implications of publicising such a message. Did the sender understand how battery raised chicken affect the body? Did they know the value of having naturally grown animals (and birds) for the planet? Of course there was no response.

We are in the era of “making shilingi” by any means. People slaughter albinos for their body parts. They are then sold to the so-called witchdoctors. Whoop! That is “easy business.” Whoa! New era. Modernity. Killing an albino is murder. Outrightly. The whole world is watching Tanzania. The activity is as horrific as it is sad.

Loss of life.

However, raising birds in the most sinister surroundings so as to have millions of eggs and meat, while “coughing” money might sound “better” yet the implications are just as bad.

The issue of albino is obvious. Murder. That of chicken and eggs is unknown to many.

I have observed even some of us overseas based Africans being unaware of eating meat and eggs from animals reared in terrible surroundings.

“Terrible? How?” I hear someone cynical.

Mr Cynical might even insinuate that there is no difference between chicken raised in their natural surroundings and those grown in battery farms. To start with, do we all know what “battery” farms means?

We have to begin by looking at the source of life. Everything comes out of a parent or a seed. Mother earth feeds the newcomers with sunshine. In plants, it is photosynthesis, i.e. the green matter. In animals and us humans, natural light has many resources including Vitamin D and nourishing the skin.

When we raise animals indoors using electric light, we deny them this natural light. But usually the activity does not end there. Since production has to be fast and multiple, injections and all sorts of artificial things are given to the beasts to make them grow ten times the natural speed. I have heard chicken being raised ready to eat in just 6 weeks! Is that normal?

This is where the email was aimed at. Unlike the normal period of waiting for the natural process plus other hazards, e.g. diseases, the battery raised chicken rarely grows sick. So there is no time wasting. You grow as many as possible and make a lot of money. Fine.

This is new in Africa.

Everyone wants to make money.

But money will always be there. It was there before we were born. It is there now. Money will be when we are gone.

However, our quality of life, the joy of having a healthy body is rarely bought with money. According to many studies carried out in the West (where battery raised beasts actually began) side effects of such foods is obvious. Allergies is one. The meat never tastes as good. Then there is the animal welfare part.

A TV documentary I watched over a decade ago, showed how chicken raised in dark, electric illuminated rooms suffered from “bendy” legs. The programme warned about the colour of the chicken knees turning brown because of standing on one spot. Last year a TV news item showed how birds that were raised in places here they could not fly were so traumatised they kept banging themselves due to being denied the freedom to naturally use wings. Someone might say. Ah, it does not matter. Animals in agony never affect our appetites. If meat does not taste good, add spices and salt. That shall make it tasty. Which is indeed, true.

Now we have large chains of fast food restaurants where the meat is bombarded with salt and spices for the average customer who never bothers to dig deep.


But… But... But...

Good news. A growing wave of organic, free range meat and food products. This fresh food wave is a result of seeing disease, taste and side effects affecting humans globally. Not only sick, our offspring born with all sorts of allergies due to the parents eating deformed animals. Yes. That is the reality, these animals are deformed? Why deformed? Their genetics has been disturbed. By not growing in natural God given surroundings.

Problem is that, by the time we in Tanzania realise why our bodies (and those of our children) develop all sorts of deformities—it will be too late. That, my friend, will cost more money to fix than that which we have been advised to make through battery chicken.

So herein lies the puzzle. Or riddle. Why make money that you will end up spending trying to cure something incurable? Why commit suicide?