Factory farmed eggs

Factory farmed eggs

The hidden life of factory farmed hens makes for sad reading. There is, of course, an alternative…

Ok, so you are reading this article. I take it that means you care about animals. Athough between you and me, who wouldn’t? So be you a vegan, vegetarian, or plain old animal-lover, I take it you would like to know if animals were tormented so that you could make that omelet you ate for breakfast. Answer: Unless you’re eating organic eggs, yes they were. The egg industry is just as cruel to animals as the pork and poultry industries.

Most of the eggs you see today are from hens raised in so-called “factory farms”. To save space and keep the hens from wasting energy, factory farms confine chickens in “battery cages”. These cages are 50 SQUARE INCHES, or about the size of a half-sheet of paper. Multiple hens are housed in each cage. Due to the space constrants, the hens cannot turn around or even lift their wings. They often die from dehydration, and spend their entire lives standing on wires that cause agonizing pain in their feet. They commonly break leg and wing bones and their eyes are burned by ammonia gas given off by the waste their neighbors excrete. Due to these extremely stressful conditions, fights tend to break out among the hens, and sometimes they hurt each other. The egg industry has come up with a solution for this problem; they slice the beaks right off young hens. Not only is this exceedingly painful, but it creates problems when they try to merely eat or drink. Now isn’t that a fantastic solution?

These beakless birds also have to forsake sunlight and are instead exposed to fake lighting around the clock, which is supposed to make them eat more food. The food given to these gentle, herbivorous animals is itself nauseating, as it is often contaminated with blood, fat, animal waste, and feathers from other birds. If eating that sounds terrible, consider the alternative. Many hens are subjected to up to two weeks of starvation in order to induce a molt. A molt is when birds lose, then re-grow their feathers It is during the period just before a molt that hens lay more eggs. Ninety-seven percent of all egg-laying hens live in this way.

Now think of the painfully short lives of the 200 million male chickens that the egg industry throws into a grinder alive every year. If you can believe it, the only excuse the industry offers is that there is “no need” for the chicks.

After hearing all of this you are probably ready to go dash those eggs in your fridge into the trash can. Instead, do your homework. Look up the egg industry, which is also killing Mother Nature and creating antibiotic-resistant “superbugs”. And as a concerned and beloved Mookychick reader, don’t eat caged eggs. But don’t cry yet, either! Because we do have alternatives to caged eggs, and they are just as delicious, if I do say so myself. The best alternative is organic free-range eggs, since they are certified to come from hens with access to sunlight, shade, fresh air, and room to exercise. Look for both words on the egg carton if you can… ‘organic’ means they’re not fed chemicals like yellow plastic to make their yolks look more yellow, and ‘free range’ means more care has gone into their farmed conditions. Now doesn’t that sound better than getting your eggs from a barn stuffed with thousands of sick and abused hens? I certainly think it does, and I‘m pretty sure the hens do too.