A great many things contradict common sense or any sense. Two come to mind as I was driving to visit Mathieu Gosselin in Rigaud from Montreal. Organic heroin or cocaine...something pretty disturbing if ever it comes to be and animals raised without ever having seen and felt our great powerful sun...something even more disturbing since it is very common.
Guinea fowl is one of those victims. The scenario is simple. A bird with wild and strict hierarchical instincts stuffed into tiny boxes for its entire life. That is what the industrial chicken farmer becoming guinea fowl farmer does. That is the fate of probably all guinea fowls raised in Quebec. Plume des Champs is the exception and the scenario is also simple; they are the only ones (for now) raising free range guinea fowl in Quebec. Gosselin and his three associates created a 5 acre space (soon to become 10), dug a fence a few feet underground which the coyote, the fox and any predator cannot dig and penetrate, and a 'roof' of netting 6-7 feet high (so that the fowl can fly but the air borne predators cannot dive and kill). Standing with the shy guinea fowl and Mathieu describing in detail their habits and nature, I knew that this was another ally of artisans, of education and of the love of all things beautiful.
Arguments that guinea fowls run around too much and therefore become too tough also fail. Gosselin's guinea fowls are juicy, tasty even without sous-vide cooking. And standing in the field with his birds I can testify that they do not cease to move. Serving them at Renard Artisan Bistro and having eaten a few myself I can say that the too much movement argument is false. Period. Plume des Champs are the first that I have seen with this type of elevage, which is extremely sane, but worrisome because they are still in our day of online information and imagery of the rare few. Why? Well there is no doubt that information is extremely abundant...so? are we cheap? do we not give a shit? are we selfish? are we stupid? are we fucked? You decide.