Welcome to day 7 of Vegan MoFo! We’re up to E in our A-Z of gluten free veganism and I want to talk to you about eggs.
One of the most common questions I get asked as a vegan is why I don’t eat eggs. As I mentioned in my first MoFo post, it took me a long time to give them up. I used to love eggs, especially fried egg sandwiches! Eventually I changed my diet so that I only ate free range eggs but after reading more about the industry I finally gave up eggs and became vegan two years ago.
I’d like to give you a summary of the reasons I do not eat eggs. In the U.S. 285 million hens a year are raised for laying eggs. Most of these hens are kept in battery farms which means they are in cages stacked high on top of each other in dark and dirty conditions. They often peck at each other or at themselves which is a sign of stress. Farmers get around this by cutting the end of their beaks off with a hot blade without painkillers or anaesthetic. They also use a system called “forced molting” which makes the chickens go into further egg laying cycles by starving them and keeping them in the dark. Laying hens have extremely stressful lives which means they only usually last around 2 years before they are slaughtered due to their decreased egg production.
Free range chickens are not guaranteed to have better lives than their factory farmed counterparts. They are not kept in cages but often still live in cramped conditions which can cause disease and illness as well as stress. These chickens are still de-beaked to stop them from pecking each other and have a shorter life span than average chickens.
In both free range and caged cases, millions of male chicks die a year as they are not useful to the egg laying process. As the chicks come in they are moved along on a conveyor belt while employees pull out the male chicks and drop them into a huge grinder. Therefore, although eating eggs does not kill the chicken, it does cause the unnecessary deaths of day old chicks and the premature deaths of laying hens who tend to live 8 years less than non-laying hens. At the end of their usefulness they are taken to the slaughter house and killed in the same way as the broiler chickens who are being raised for meat.
Information and statistics from PETA
What was it that made you give up eggs? If you still eat them are you considering giving them up?