I'm sitting here watching Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall begin the televised leg of Chicken Out his campaign against intensive chicken farming. Now I'm a fan of Hugh; his Meat book was some kind of epiphany for me and I've been as free-range and as organic as I can reasonably manage ever since I read it. Especially when buying chicken. I'm happy that this has made a modest contribution to the lives of a few birds, and I've also eaten better as a result.
I've also seen Hugh in action before, evangelising and shocking townies into changing their buying habits. All too often he falls at the price hurdle but there have been one or two memorable and moving success stories along the way.
So I thought I knew what to expect.
But then he threw a curve ball by responding to the negative reaction from the intensive chicken farming establishment to his requests to film a real working farm by opting to set up his own. In an admittedly dramatic gesture, someone as committed as he his to the ethical and responsible husbandry and welfare of livestock had decided that he was prepared to raise four thousand chickens under precisely the conditions he wants to phase out. Maybe, he argues, that's the level of investment and sacrifice required to change the two-for-a-fiver mentality that dominates the attitude of the chicken buying public. I'm afraid he may be right.
From the clips they showed at the start this looks set to be powerful, brave and quite possibly important television.