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Helen Bennett Harvey promises that no animals were harmed in the making of this blog. Vegging Out is a recipe for a new way of life. Or at least a new way of eating. Pull up a chair. Contact me at:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Egg on our face?

Eggs, glorious eggs, hot tofu and cheese, while we're in the mood...yes, the theme to that catchy song from "Oliver" should be playing as I muse about eggs.

It's true, as a vegetarian - not a vegan - eggs are the wonderful answer to my protein needs and I am sure I eat more than the recommended weekly allowance. The only thing I think I like more are the incredible salad sandwiches that George makes for me.

But I digress as the important issue here is eggs.

I finally learned from Trader Joe's what is means when their egg cartons say "cage free."

It means:

"That the birds are not kept in cages. They are held in warehouse-sized enclosures with free access to food and water. There are no hormones, antibiotics are used to treat specific illnesses and they are fed an all-vegetarian diet."

The question that I don't have an answer to is whether these enclosures are better or worse than other ways of keeping hens and whether it give the birds a better life. Do they fight more in such an enclosure (it's not called a pecking order for nothing) or do they get to dance about making friends and enemies the way they would in a barnyard?

What I am hoping is that someone out there know the answers to these questions.

We can read every Web site about egg farms - the horror of some of these places is unspeakable - but what about the places that try hard to make life easier for the little layers?

I don't want to give up eggs. But I do hope someone can help with this conundrum: does cage free go far enough?


Anonymous Anonymous said...
this web site should address your concerns. a very informative place that does tremendous work on behalf of all poultry. when we got hitched contributions were sent here in lieu of gifts.

April 28, 2009 11:11 AM 
Anonymous Robert Bieber said...

No, cage-free does not go far enough. Vegan goes far enough. Eggs and dairy are no different from chicken tenders and steaks: they all involve the suffering and death of nonhuman animals.

What, praytell, do you think happens to those chickens after they're done being tortured for their eggs for a couple of years and their laying slows down? They're killed, of course, just like dairy cows when they stop being "productive," and their unwanted children. You would never imprison, torture, and kill a human for their bodily secretions, so why do the same to a nunhuman animal?

If you really care about the animals, you need to go vegan. If you were imprisoned in a cage (or a barn) for the sole purpose of providing for someone else's unnecessary pleasures, to be killed in a couple of years, would you want to be moved to a slightly less demeaning situation, or would you want to be freed?

May 12, 2009 2:43 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please, give up eggs. Animals were harmed in the making of this blog. Robert: Amen.

May 12, 2009 4:17 PM 
Anonymous Katherine said...

I agree with Robert. Here's another site that has great information on the misconception that any eggs are acceptably produced:
The simple fact is, the eggs (and dairy) are not ours to take and the animals and not ours to breed for exploitation. There are more than enough delicious sources of protein in the plant world, just do some quick internet research! Tofu scrambles are delicious (and that's just the beginning)!

May 12, 2009 4:39 PM 
Blogger Billy Joe Kini said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

August 02, 2009 6:26 PM 
Blogger kanga d bell said...

Yep, also agreeing with the above comments. "Free range" and "cage free" mean next to nothing. But eggs are just unnecessary for your livelihood. I understand that when you've grown up eating something it's hard to part ways. I think you do know though, through your experience, that it is far from impossible. I recommend at least trying to cut out eggs at home -- it's simple if you make just a little effort. You've already heard other sources of protein, so here are some suggestions on how to replace eggs in your favorite recipes:

August 02, 2009 6:29 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I raised my own chickens, they are happy and my eggs are good

November 18, 2009 2:04 PM 
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December 21, 2009 5:19 AM 

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