You know, I've been thinking about this some more, and while on the one hand I am also surprised at the negativity Leigti experienced, on the other hand, I kind of get what she's talking about after giving it some thought. Everyone on this site is wonderful about not judging how others raise their birds, and very well-informed about the issues, but when you're out there in the world telling people about your chickens, it's true that you can feel like people are rolling their eyes a little at you when you say they are pets and you plan to let them live out their lives. In my experience, it's usually the people who know nothing about chickens (as was suggested above) and have never kept them who react this way, not the actual chicken keepers who cull. But in any case, I do get what Leigti is saying about feeling a little judged by the world outside BYC sometimes, and for that reason I'm glad to see that there are others on here as well who, like me, have 401K plans for their birds. Not that I am judging anyone who does otherwise, of course! I really respect aart's point about confronting where your food comes from.