What’s Wrong with “Free Range” Eggs, “Enriched Cages” and “Meatless Mondays”?

go veganIn episode 11, I speak a little about “enriched cages”, “free range” eggs and “Meatless Mondays”.

I invite you to check out links to a number of excellent blogs about these issues I discuss. They can be found in the information section.

There’s many videos online displaying “enriched caged” systems, some by the industry.  I do not know where the following video was taken but it looks like an industry video. I could not see any information associated with it.

The truth is that ALL use is abuse. No amount of trying to pretty up animal exploitation will ever hide what we all know deep inside —  that using nonhuman sentient beings as “things, as resources is morally unjustifiable and needs to end.

The Egg industry claims that egg sales have skyrocketed since “Meatless Mondays” was introduced.  Please reject “Meatless Mondays”. It makes moral distinctions between animal products as if one is worse than another when they are all a result of tremendous violence.  If we make an ethical decision to reject something that is morally wrong, then we must reject it all, and not just on certain days.

Please go vegan. It’s the only morally consistent solution. It’s much easier than you think. It will be one of the best decisions you make in your life. Your only regret will be that you didn’t go vegan sooner. Here’s a good vegan resource

The music intro was an excerpt of “Carolan’s Dream“.  Turlough O’Carolan, (1670 – 25 March 1738) was a blind early Irish harper, composer and singer.

Disclaimer: Please note I do not endorse opinions, links, individuals or ads on any external sites.

For more information:
Here’s link to “Go Vegan Radio“.
Replacing One Cage With Another
Should Vegans Endorse Meatless Monday?
What’s wrong with Backyard Eggs
Libby and Louie : A Love Story
A Betrayal of the Animals

What is Wrong with Vegetarianism : the excerpt I read about “free range” eggs is below:

“Free-range” Eggs

Consider the lives of “free-range” hens. “Free-range” egg producers generally purchase layer hens from the same hatcheries as traditional egg producers. Half of the chicks born in the hatcheries are males who are “disposed of” often in cruel ways, including being thrown live into machines that grind their bodies up or into trash bags and/or large dumpsters where they either starve or suffocate to death. Further, since “layer hens” typically are not sufficiently productive after two years, they are sent to slaughter at that time. The “free-range” egg industry relies heavily on the routine mass-slaughter of animals to be economically feasible.

The lives of “free-range” layer hens before slaughter are generally a living hell. The “free-range” egg label means only that the birds are permitted some access outdoors, even if it is only a miniscule fraction of the space of the large shed in which they live. Because of intensive overcrowding in these sheds, and because chickens are social animals who have a literal “pecking order”, their sensitive beaks are cut with a hot blade (to cauterize the blood flow) so they cannot hurt each other in trying to establish an impossible order in such crowded conditions. Also due to the crowding in a large, often poorly lit shed, the conditions of a typical “free-range” facility are filthy with excrement on the floor in which the hens live and extremely poor air quality due to the lack of ventilation. In addition to the harsh living conditions, the hens are genetically designed to be enormously productive in laying eggs, which causes them to be less healthy than traditional hens. The poor health of layers is largely due to the fact that chickens who are not exploited eat most of their eggs (in natural conditions, only a small percentage of eggs hatch), replenishing the nutrients they lose in the eggs they produce. When their eggs are taken from the hens, the hens lose the opportunity to replenish the nutrients lost in producing the egg. Genetically-designed, highly productive layers lose even more nutrients and end up even poorer in health because they lose more eggs to humans than natural hens.

The egg production of hens peaks when the hens are around seven months old and drops significantly at around 15 months old. To get an extra six months of production out of the hens, “free-range” producers will engage in a practiced called “forced molting” to imitate the conditions of the winter-spring transition. In forced molting, the hens are starved for several days up to 14 days and the lighting in the shed is dimmed. Hens can lose up to 30% of their body weight during this starvation process and some of the weaker hens – already malnourished from not being able to consume their own eggs – are killed as a result. Several weeks after the forced molt ends, production is back to normal.

After the “free-range” hens are “spent”, a condition in which they can no longer produce eggs at a commercially-viable rate and in which their health has deteriorated significantly from both the wretched living conditions and from losing nutrients from egg production/loss, the hens are transported to slaughter. Both transportation and slaughter can mean some of the most intensive cruelty the hens have yet experienced. They and their bones are very weak from giving so much nutrition for so long without replenishment from eating their own eggs. When they are handled roughly in transportation and slaughter, their bones are often broken. Also, layer hens are generally not used for human meat consumption; the meat is of very poor quality due to the poor health of the hens. “Free-range” hens end up at the same slaughterhouses as any other chicken where they are often intentionally tortured – hurled against the wall and stomped upon – by frustrated workers in poor working conditions with low pay. Even if the “ free-range” chickens are not intentionally tortured, some miss the electric “stunning” bath and neck blade (from struggling upside-down in their leg shackles) and instead are boiled alive in the de-feathering (scalding) tank.

Commercially-viable egg production, regardless of the label (“free-range”, “cage-free”, or “organic”), is extremely cruel to chickens. As mentioned above, hens who are not exploited eat most of their eggs as a natural way to replenish many of the nutrients they lose in producing eggs. Even in the best conditions imaginable, such as in a sanctuary or in the wild, it is unhealthy and exploitative to the hens to take their eggs from them. When we add the extremely cruel living conditions that “free-range” hens endure along with the mass-slaughtering that is required to keep egg production economically feasible, consuming eggs simply makes no sense at all for anyone concerned about the treatment or slaughter of animals.

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I hope you found this episode somewhat informative. Please join me next time. 🙂

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