I have always been concerned for animal welfare. I was a vegetarian for about 9 years, and though my diet now includes some meat, I attempt to limit consumption to animals that were raised in what most people would assume to be humane conditions -- conditions in which animals did not have to endure undue suffering, as they do on factory farms.
My senior thesis in college dealt with the way in which factory farming commodifies animals and distances consumers from the food production process, allowing us to not think too deeply about how the animals we eat live (and suffer) and die in the process.
As an anthropologist, I am aware of how we create cultural categories of animals (e.g., "pets" vs. "food animals") that do not match scientific biological classification systems and that allow us to be horrified when dogs or parakeets are neglected or treated cruelly but accept horrible living conditions for pigs or chickens.
When I first saw Kroger's Simple Truth line, I was excited to see this new line of "natural" and organic products. I am a frequent shopper at Kroger, which is the closest major supermarket to my house in Clarkston, just outside of Atlanta. I noticed that the claim on the Simple Truth chicken products was that their chickens were raised "cage-free" and in "humane" conditions. The lower price, compared to other humanely-raised chicken products, was particularly appealing. I rarely purchase meat to cook, but my daughter liked a chicken dish at her favorite Indian restaurant, and I thought that I should learn to cook this at home to control what kind of chicken she was consuming.