Updated: Sep 27, 2018
By David Hewitt
“Go to work on an egg” was an advertising campaign ran in the UK in the 1950s and 1960s by the extravagantly named “Egg Marketing Board.”
The idea was that having an egg for breakfast was the perfect way to set you up for the day. Which of course was and is utter dross.
Forgive me for taking a swipe at something that was first broadcast in black and white, but this was, and still mostly is, symptomatic of the wildly inaccurate public perception that eggs are somehow automatically good for you. They really, truly absolutely are not. And not only are they not good for you, their mass production is so morally bankrupt, so utterly nefarious, as to defy belief.
The first thing that should strike you about an egg is what it actually is. There isn’t really a diplomatic way to put this if you don’t know already. A chicken, duck, goose or whatever egg is essentially a menstrual secretion. Quite how just that information alone doesn’t instantly stop millions in their tracks from eating eggs, is completely beyond reason.
So, with that mildly stomach-churning thought in mind, let’s swing our scrutiny on to first the morality and then some of the adverse health implications of eating eggs.
Morality wise, aside from eating what has just ben described, it also reinforces an anthropocentric arrogance that humans can simply take what they want, without consequence, by virtue of some hazy yet utterly all-powerful unwritten rule that transcends every species in the plant. The same is true for meat and dairy production and animal exploitation in general, now and throughout the ages.
The egg production industry is an abomination. Chickens are kept in appalling conditions from birth, very often cramped, disease ridden and closed off completely to natural light. Conditions are unsanitary and these poor creatures live in amongst their own urine and faeces.
And the barbarism doesn’t stop there either. The egg industry only wants new born chicks that can go on to lay eggs – females. It has no need for new born male chicks as they cannot produce what the industry wants. Consequently, within a day or two of hatching, the male chicks are disposed of by either being thrown in the rubbish to suffocate, gassed or being ground up alive.
Take a look at the video below to see footage of an Iowa hatchery where 150,00 male chicks are ground up alive a day: (WARNING: Graphic Content!)
Note: Male chicks can not lay eggs nor do they grow fast enough for meat production, hence they are of no use to the abusive food industry. So they are slaughtered in the cheapest way.
Keep in mind, that there is no distinction between battery, free range or organic chickens for egg laying - all ultimately have the same origins and irrespective of what type of egg you buy, the male chicks are callously slaughtered. Of course, a blood-ridden profit has to be turned from every grisly reality and livestock farmers don’t want you to ever know that they are massively complicit in daily animal abuse on a monumental scale.
The oft-stated claims of the egg industry that what they do is “humane” and “compassionate” with their chickens in the production of eggs is a preposterous, planet-sized lie.
Chickens are not only cool to watch, they are also social and smart. When free, they love to scratch for bugs, take dirt baths and have a rudimentary system of squawks and coos with one other as part of their social set-up. What we as a species have inflicted upon so many billions of these innocent, wonderful beings is enough to break the sturdiest of hearts.
The natural life expectancy for a chicken is 8 - 10 years, although they can live up to 20 years. The life expectancy of an egg laying chicken in the egg industry is only 72 weeks. This is when the are deemed to have been exhausted by the unnatural amount of eggs they have been forced to produce and are no longer viable. They are then slaughtered and replaced.
While the morality side of egg consumption is utterly morally defunct, the health side of eating eggs fares no better.
Straight off the bat, both battery and free-range chickens are pumped full of drugs and chemicals to make them produce more eggs. While that is morally grotesque in its own right, health wise – guess what? Those chemical concoctions make their way into the eggs themselves. Nice. Forget the ingredient list on the side of a box of eggs – a periodic table would be more apt.
All eggs are ridden with fat and cholesterol (on average, each egg contains 200mg of cholesterol). Eating just one egg per day can double your risk of coronary heart disease. A 2010 Canadian study found that egg yolk consumption posed a significantly increased risk to those who were pre-disposed to potentially go on to develop coronary heart disease. Source
If you love your heart and your waist-line, you need to send eggs a “Dear John” with immediate effect if you haven’t already.
And it’s not just on the cholesterol / healthy heart side of things that egg consumption poses a risk to either. Back in 2011, the US National Institute of Health released a report that flagged up not only red meat as posing a sharply increased risk to more advanced forms of prostrate cancer, but egg consumption too. Source
There are simply no redeeming features about eating eggs. They are both bad for your health and just as bad for your karma.
Unfortunately, large swathes of humanity still cling to their egg addiction. By going vegan however, you are helping to diminish that, bit by bit, and contribute to the eventual eradication of this unnecessarily cruel and unhealthy egg fixation.
Billions, year upon year. Humankind perpetrates many gross injustices against its animal neighbours. And this is right up there in terms of sheer numbers and sheer undiluted cruelty.
So in answer, YES, death is an inherent part of the egg industry, whether they are battery, free range, organic or barn eggs, the male chicks are callously killed at birth and the females are slaughtered once they are deemed to be exhausted from egg production.
Veganism is the solution.