From breakfast to baked goods to countless cultural dishes, eggs couldn’t be more universally ordinary and unremarkable. But today is about challenging appearances and assumptions of extremism and normality. Today is a lesson in unlearning. [tweet this]
Anytime we make a living being into a machine, a supplier of inventory, the bottom line will always be profit. And increasing profit means increasing output and increasing efficiency.
The bodies of layer hens give out prematurely from the extreme demands of production. Every aspect of their lives is regulated ensure maximum output. From controlling their laying cycles with days and days of persistent light followed by long periods of complete darkness, to starving them for weeks at a time to force yet another egg cycle from their worn out bodies, to outright manipulation of their very genetic makeup.
We’ve optimized our machines, you see, and bred one kind of chicken for meat and another kind for eggs. Because of this, the egg industry produces millions if not a billion unwanted male baby chicks every year. Male layer chicks can’t lay eggs. So they are of no use.
To “dispose of”—as they say—these baby chicks, they are either painfully gassed, slowly suffocated in plastic bags, or they are ground up alive. We’re talking about the cute fluffy yellow baby chicks we adore come Easter time. They are not even granted three days of life.
This is standard practice all over the world.
The sisters of the egg industry’s discarded sons get to live out their short lives in cramped battery cages, unable to even extend their wings. Of course nowadays we hear about the rise of free-range and cage-free facilities. But in truth, the only comfort these labels bring is to our own conscience. Cage-free birds are crammed into tiny sheds and have twice the mortality rates of battery raised hens. [tweet this]
I hope you are starting to see the power of this lie. Of presenting cruel confinement, starvation, abuse, the barbaric murder of day-old babies and the slaughter of one-year-olds—themselves still children— as something completely normal and kind—packaged in perfect little orbs.
And we have the audacity to decorate them in celebration of new life. To fawn over the very chicks who were ground up alive for their production. To mix them into treats for our children and loved ones. To start our day with the products of abject misery and call it “sunny side up.” We might as well start our day by throwing chicks in a blender.
And people say veganism is extreme.
The animal products we perceive as mundane, when reverse engineered, reveal a perversely complex and, to put it lightly, ethically challenging, journey from genesis through processing and production to the end product. That is to say, from the animals’ birth, through confinement, abuse, slaughter and denigration of corpses to the shiny, happy, store-ready products we literally eat up without even a single thought as to what the animals went through.
In the harsh light of reality, the everyday becomes extreme.
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▶︎➤FEATURED VIDEOS & RESOURCES:
➣ See The FULL Speech
➣ Learn More About Eggs
➣ Standard Practice All Over The World
➣ What About Backyard Chickens?
➣ The Great Egg Conspiracy
➣ Explaining Eggs to Kids
➣ See Eggs Through A Hen’s Eyes
➣ 15 Easy Egg Substitutes
CITATIONS: (see full speech post for even more resources)
 “Induced Molting of Commercial Layers | NC State University,” accessed March 31, 2016.
 M. Yousaf and A.s. Chaudhry, “History, Changing Scenarios and Future Strategies to Induce Moulting in Laying Hens,” World’s Poultry Science Journal 64, no. 1 (March 2008): 65–75, doi:10.1017/S0043933907001729.
 A. B. Molino et al., “The Effects of Alternative Forced-Molting Methods on the Performance and Egg Quality of Commercial Layers,” Revista Brasileira de Ciência Avícola 11, no. 2 (June 2009): 109–13, doi:10.1590/S1516-635X2009000200006.
 “The Hard-Boiled Truth: Modern Egg Production in the United States,” Eggindustry.com: Exposing the Truth about Eggs, accessed April 11, 2016.
 Steven L Leary and American Veterinary Medical Association, AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals: 2013 Edition, 2013, https://www.avma.org/KB/Policies/Documents/euthanasia.pdf.
 The Council of the European Union, “COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 1099/2009 on the Protection of Animals at the Time of Killin,” Urnal of the Europ, September 24, 2009, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2009:303:0001:0030:EN:PDF.
 Gregory Barber, “Cage-Free Eggs Aren’t What You Think They Are,” Mother Jones, February 10, 2016, http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2016/02/corporations-are-going-cage-free-whats-next-hens.
 Marian Stamp Dawkins and Sylvia Hardie, “Space Needs of Laying Hens,” British Poultry Science 30, no. 2 (June 1, 1989): 413–16, doi:10.1080/00071668908417163.
 “Barren, Cramped Battery Cages : The Humane Society of the United States,” accessed March 31, 2016, http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/confinement_farm/facts/battery_cages.html.
 Chase Purdy, “Egg Industry Yielding in Cage-Free Fight,” POLITICO, accessed March 31, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2015/09/egg-industry-hands-animal-advocates-big-win-in-cage-free-fight-213905.
 “Egg Producers See Big Shift to Cage-Free Eggs by 2025,” accessed March 31, 2016, http://www.wattagnet.com/articles/25650-egg-producers-see-big-shift-to-cage-free-eggs-by–.
 “US Cage-Free Egg Layer Flock Is Rapidly Increasing,” accessed March 31, 2016, http://www.wattagnet.com/articles/24914-us-cage-free-egg-layer-flock-is-rapidly-increasing.
 Sara Shields and Ian JH Duncan, “An HSUS Report: A Comparison of the Welfare of Hens in Battery Cages and Alternative Systems,” 2009, http://animalstudiesrepository.org/hsus_reps_impacts_on_animals/18/.
 Barber, “Cage-Free Eggs Aren’t What You Think They Are.”
 British Hen Welfare Trust, “Enriched Cages,” BHWT, accessed March 31, 2016, http://www.bhwt.org.uk/egg-industry/enriched-cages/.
 Jason Lewis, “French Farmers Ignore Battery Hen Ban,” January 1, 2012, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/earthnews/8986255/French-farmers-ignore-battery-hen-ban.html.
 The Humane Society, “Cage-Free vs. Battery-Cage Eggs : The Humane Society of the United States,” accessed April 11, 2016, http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/confinement_farm/facts/cage-free_vs_battery-cage.html.
 “How to Decipher Egg Carton Labels: The Truth Behind ‘Cage-Free,’ ‘Free-Range’ and Other Common Terms : The Humane Society of the United States,” accessed March 31, 2016, http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/confinement_farm/facts/guide_egg_labels.html.
 Jennifer Chaussee, “The Insanely Complicated Logistics of Cage-Free Eggs for All,” WIRED, January 25, 2016, http://www.wired.com/2016/01/the-insanely-complicated-logistics-of-cage-free-eggs-for-all/.
 Coalition For Sustainable Egg Supply, “Final Results (See First Linked PDF),” Coalition For Sustainable Egg Supply, accessed March 31, 2016, http://www2.sustainableeggcoalition.org/final-results.