A lot of people eat eggs, but not a lot of people seem to know the cruelty and health issues that are a part of that food choice. I know several vegetarians who don’t know what the deal is with eggs, and I certainly didn’t either before turning vegan last year but, once you know, it is very hard to ever eat another egg again.
I’ve split my reasons to avoid eggs into two distinct categories; the reasons they are bad for us to consume, and the immense cruelty that goes with consuming them.
The Health Side of Things
Let’s start with the nutritional value. 100g of eggs contain 124% of your recommended daily consumption of cholesterol and 16% of your recommended daily saturated fat. However, they contain no fibre, or carbs – you know, the stuff our body lives off*. Here are a couple more pointers for you:
- Eggs are one of the leading causes of salmonella poisoning in humans.
- Eggs are considered a risky food for anyone wishing to remain bird-flu free.
- There is a possible contamination risk of chicken urine and faeces.
Plus, look at this little guy. He’s so cute!!!
And Now the Cruelty…
- Hens are kept in battery farms – in squalor and squashed into little spaces – all piled up in cages on top of each other, next to their dead kin, and covered in each other’s faeces and urine. **
- Male chicks are deemed unprofitable for the egg trade and so they are crushed to death in massive chick-crushing machines, ground up whilst still alive, or just thrown into the rubbish to choke to death.
- Hens have the ends of their beaks chopped off using a hot knife, which is akin to me chopping off your ear.
*Eggs also contain protein and calcium, but so do chickpeas and kale, and no one got crushed to death for you to eat that.
**Free-range isn’t really enough; first of all, there is great debate over what constitutes free-range, as some chickens are still in cages, just with more space to move about – you can read about it here. Secondly, the health issues and onslaught of cruelty still stands; male chicks still get slaughtered, hens still get debeaked, and at the end of their two-year life cycle of egg producing slavery, they are still electrocuted, boiled, or get their neck slit.
There are also other reasons to mention, for example, that an egg is simply an unfertilised chicken ovum, much like what is expelled monthly for any human female. Therefore, eggs are basically chicken periods.
There are so many great egg alternatives to try, such as; Vegg, scrambled tofu, black salt that gives food an eggy flavour, chia seeds, bananas or apple sauce in baking; it seems almost medial to still be eating eggs!
Give them a try and watch this space for some vegan-friendly egg related recipes.