A new study titled “Financial Strategies for Fighting Inflation” from the digital personal finance company Achieve has revealed that while just 8% of US respondents said they have raised chickens to produce eggs at home, an additional 18% said they are considering the option or researching how to do it (making a total of 26%). However, on the other side, 22% are now growing vegetables at home and 30% are considering it (a total of 52%).

The study, based on a representative sample of US citizens, also shows that 64% of respondents have or are planning to cut on grocery purchases. The reasons for all these measures are record-high inflation and soaring interest rates, which are making consumers seek cheaper sources of food. Without realising that raising chickens also costs money (not just for their feed but also veterinary bills) as much as a quarter of those interviewed have erroneously concluded that keeping chickens in their back yard is a good economic solution. Unfortunately, if people do get chickens because they are short of cash they would be unlikely to call a vet when the animals get ill, and this is why animal welfare organisations are advising against such practice, not just vegan organisations that would object to the principle of exploiting chickens — even if people can afford their veterinary care. Fortunately, far more many consumers have opted for growing vegetables than rearing chickens, which not only would be cheaper but also healthier, and better for the planet. 

The study also shows that members of Gen Z are more likely to consider more “aggressive” options to deal with high costs, including those that can come with significant risk. Fortunately, the percentage of vegans among such a generation is likely to be higher, which will reduce the chances that keeping chickens become one of such aggressive options (because it would certainly be aggressive against the chickens), as ethical vegans do not consume eggs (even backyard ones). 

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.