The way eggs are produced in most parts of the world makes it one of the worst forms of animal cruelty. But the problem behind eggs goes far beyond this: there is also potential damage to our health and the environment from egg production.
Here are the top nine reasons why everyone should stop eating eggs:
1. Chickens spend their lives in the space of a sheet of A4 paper
Battery-caged hens, which is the situation for most laying hens, spend their entire lives in a crowded cage, with no room to fully spread their wings, walk, or to be able to behave naturally like a free chicken, such as preening themselves. In addition to the physical suffering that this imposes on them (many chickens lose their feathers from constant contact with the metal of the bars), scientific studies show that in this system chickens, naturally curious and active beings, feel stressed and frustrated.
Foto: We Animals
2. Female chicks are debeaked
Literally, their sensitive beaks are cut off by a hot metal plate when they are only a few days old, in a very painful procedure. This is because, due to the overcrowding of cages, it is common for chickens to peck at each other as a result of stress, which can result in outbreaks of cannibalism, leading to the unnecessary and painful death of many hens.
3. Male chicks are shredded alive
It sounds like a myth, but it is not. To replace laying hens, which have their life shortened by their poor quality of life, it is necessary to hatch eggs. Female chicks will be placed in cages to continue the egg production cycle. Males, who are of no use to the industry, are killed with absolutely terrible techniques, such as being crushed while still alive and conscious, or suffocated in plastic bags.
4. When no longer able to produce eggs, chickens are slaughtered
In the wild, a chicken can live to about 10 years. But in the egg industry, when their bodies are exhausted from laying eggs, and because of their poor quality of life, and having no ability to produce a profit, the hens are slaughtered at about two years old. This means that far from being harmless, egg production is as cruel as meat production (or we would even say more).
5. Excessive egg consumption is related to cardiovascular problems
It seems obvious, and it is: eggs are foods high in cholesterol, and a high consumption of this substance increases the incidence of cardiovascular disease, including heart problems and stroke, which increases the risk of death. More precisely, 300 mg of cholesterol per day is related to a 17% higher risk of cardiovascular disease and an 18% higher risk of death. A boiled egg has 186.5 mg of cholesterol. Just three eggs a week is enough to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and death.
6. And also a higher risk of prostate cancer progression
A study by Harvard University compared the risk of developing prostate cancer between men who hardly ever ate eggs at all, to men who had one egg a day, or even less than one egg a day. The study found that the men that ate one egg a day were twice as likely to develop prostate cancer progression or suffer a recurrence. This is believed to be due to the choline present in the eggs, which increases inflammation of the body.
7. Egg production endangers world public health from salmonella
This year, dozens of people became sick in the UK after eating Salmonella-contaminated eggs, and this unfortunately happens more often than we would think. This disease can lead to death, especially in children and the elderly, and is extremely common in poultry rearing, even more so when chickens suffer from intense confinement.
8. So you get heavy on antibiotics to fight disease
To prevent the spread of disease in highly artificial and industrial systems, some egg producers use antibiotics continuously, even when animals are not sick. And here comes another problem: according to the UN, antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security and development, and is directly related to the indiscriminate use of drugs, whether for humans or for animal production.
9. Egg production is related to water and soil contamination
Much is said about the environmental impact of red meat, but egg production is also an important factor in water and soil contamination. Scientists at the University of Oviedo, Spain, have analyzed the effects of intensive egg production and concluded that it has had a significant impact on the water and the soil, especially related to waste management and chicken feed.
Whatever form egg is produced, it has direct impacts on the lives of millions of animals, the environment, and the health and safety of people. We do not need this product, or any animal product, to have a healthy and diverse diet. Consider veganism.