There are many people out there who consider themselves vegetarians but still eat eggs on a regular basis. I have learned that the correct name for these types of non-flesh eaters is ovo-vegetarians. Generally these people still eat eggs for a variety of reasons, such as: the idea that eggs provide them with the essential proteins, omega 3 fatty acids, and vitamin b12 that they may otherwise be lacking, and the idea that chickens produce eggs anyways and no animal was actually killed or harmed if the egg wasn’t fertilized.
Many people remain unaware of how inhumanely the majority of hens used for egg production are treated. Whether vegetarian, vegan, ovo-vegetarian, plant-based, carnivore, or whatever you choose to identify with, the following list of 21 things the egg industry does not want you to see will make you think twice about your egg consumption…
1. It takes approximately 36 hours for a hen to produce 1 egg.
2. To keep up with the demand, over 300 million hens are used each year by the U.S. egg industry alone.
3. The lives of these hens are full of misery right from the start.
4. The baby chicks are born in incubators such as these.
5. They never get the chance to see their mothers…
6. Shortly after being born, the males and females are separated
7. The females await the same fate as their mothers, living lives of misery laying eggs.
8. The males are tossed into plastic bags to suffocate or…
9. ground up alive.
10. The female chicks have their beaks cut off with a hot blade.
11. Between 5 and 11 hens are crammed into “battery” cages.
12. The cages are often stacked on top of each other.
13. This allows the urine and faeces from the stacked birds to fall onto the birds underneath.
14. It is not uncommon for the hens to die in their cages
15. Sometimes they rot alongside living birds in the cages.
16. After around 2 years the birds that have managed to survive are sent to the slaughterhouse.
17. The hens then face the same fate as the birds that are raised for their meat.
18. They are shackled and hung upside down.
19. They are electrocuted.
20. Their throats are cut open.
21. They are often scalded to death.
This list was adapted from www.peta.org
What About Cage-Free Eggs?
Do not be fooled by companies who advertise “cage-free.” These birds may not be raised in cages like the ones mentioned above, but this is merely just a marketing scam designed to keep up with the consumer demand for more ethical choices. While birds raised in this way do have a slightly better quality of life, all “cage-free” means is the birds are kept in a giant warehouse, packed with thousands of other birds who rarely see daylight, if at all. Many die, their carcasses rot, some get diseases, and other birds fight each other to the death. Other than that, their lives and deaths are pretty much the same.
What Can You Do?
Well, the obvious decision would be to stop eating eggs altogether; if you don’t like something, don’t support it! That being said, I understand some people either don’t want to or still would like to utilize some of the benefits eating can eggs provide. If you want to keep eggs in your diet, one thing you can do to opt-out of this vicious industry is buy organic eggs from pasture-raised chickens from a local farm that you know of and trust. Such hens are free to roam around as they please on a pasture and their feed should be free of antibiotics and hormones.
If you decide to opt-out of eating eggs altogether you can still get your protein and omega 3’s from many alternative sources, including flax and hemp seeds and dark green leafy vegetables. And if it’s the taste rather than the nutritional aspect of eating eggs that keeps you coming back for more, give this vegan egg recipe a shot (pictured below).