Vegans And Eggs
To start off the topic of vegans and eggs, let’s start with some basics:
-Hens will lay eggs whether a rooster is present or not.
-Although hens can lay eggs daily their cycle fluctuates.
-Most conventional eggs purchased at a grocery store are not fertilized (AKA they would never grow into chicks, even if incubated)
So, you may ask ,”What’s the big deal with eating eggs then?!”
Let’s start with the gross factor. Have you ever thought about what an egg actually is? Need me to break it down for you? Let’s look at the human reproductory cycle. A human “period” is an unfertilized reproductive cycle. Eggs at the store are unfertilized reproductive cycles. So in a nutshell (er, eggshell?) eating an egg is basically like eating a period…just of another animal.
Although that sounds disgusting I have to say, that’s not what sealed the deal when it came to removing eggs from my life. For me, it came down to the quality of life the hens endure while providing eggs for our consumption.
Living in a cage that’s not even large enough to stand up and turn around is not a good quality of life. Yes, there are eggs labeled “cage-free” and/or “free-range” but honestly, that doesn’t mean much. These labels only mean that a chicken has had access to the outside. There are no standards or regulations when it comes to stocking density, flock size, the amount of time spent outdoors, or the quality/size of the outdoor area. In addition, the “free-range” label only applies to chickens being raised for meat, not eggs.
Needless to say neither of these labels are closely regulated by the USDA. And no matter how the hens are housed, most likely their beaks have been burned or mutilated in order to prevent pecking themselves or each other.
As with any animal used for food consumption chickens’ lives are cut very short. Even though they can live 10 years or more they tend to be kept for 1-2 years and then slaughtered. Female chicks are often debeaked at the hatchery and are soon used for their egg laying abilities. Male chicks, born from egg laying chickens, cannot be used as meat since they are a different breed. And since male chicks do not lay eggs they are deemed to have no value to the egg industry and are killed at birth.
So really, if you can get past the the idea that eating eggs is basically eating a chicken’s period what it comes down to is that humans have once again messed up the life cycle of animals for ourselves.
Personally I am to the point of never wanting to eat eggs. Even the smell of cooked eggs turns my stomach. There are many different egg alternatives (future post!) to choose from that I have no need for eggs in my life. But if I did want eggs I would raise my own chickens, like my friend Bex. This way I could guarantee them a good quality of life. Her chickens are well cared for, treated like companion animals (complete with names), and truly happy pasture raised hens. I applaud anyone that goes through these measures and wish more people would do so. And I totally support her initiative of “know your farmer, know your food.”
See more of Bex’s videos and meet her chickens here!
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
*Don’t forget, there are a few more days left to enter my giveaway to win an invite to Mizuno’s Mezamashii Project and a FREE pair of shoes!
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