The state of Michigan, in the United States, just passed laws to prohibit the confinement of hens in cages, requiring that cages will no longer be used and enrichment programs which are fundamental for hens’ well-being, such as nesting boxes, perches, and dust-bathing areas, are to be provided to all laying hens. And more so: they will only allow cage-free eggs to be sold in its state by December 2024.
These measures will make the lives of more than 15 million hens that are exploited by the egg industry in Michigan considerably better. Recently, we have talked about similar decisions taken in the state of Oregon. Now, Michigan is the largest egg-producing state in the US to adopt cage-free legislation.
State senator Kevin Daley told Michigan Radio that "consumer demand for cage-free eggs accelerated the process as grocery stores responded to that demand".
Cage-free eggs means that hens are kept out of cages, but they are often confined in barns and don't have access to outdoor areas. Despite the fact that we don't promote the consumption of eggs, not even cage-free ones, we are aware that not everyone will compromise to a vegan diet overnight. As a significant part of the population continues to eat eggs, this method at least causes less suffering of these hens compared to battery hens.
How does it feel spending your life in a cage
Living in cages is extremely frustrating and painful for chickens, who are intelligent, curious and active animals. They spend their lives in a cage with other animals and have no more than a space equivalent to one piece of A4 paper to move, which means a life of immobilization and frustration. It's impossible for them to carry out their natural behaviors of their species, such as searching for food, flapping their wings and even walking. The cage wires also hurt their feathers and feet, causing more pain.
Some of them end up dying in the cages and are left in those cages to rot among their friends. At the end of their lives, when they are no longer productive for the industry, the ones that survive this misery are slaughtered like any other chicken raised for meat.
Hens have their beaks cut in their first few days of life and without the use of any anesthetic. Male chicks are frequently ground alive because as they do not lay eggs, they are not useful for the industry.
These cages are also a threat to chickens’ health and to ours. Because the cages are so crowded, it is the perfect space for diseases to spread. To contain diseases like Salmonella and many other bugs, the egg industry uses an immense amount of antibiotics and insecticides that are dangerous for people and the general public health.
Eggs are also not necessarily good for our health. Lately, studies have shown that eating three eggs per week raises the risk of cardiovascular disease and death.
How to help
Please consider going vegan, which is the best way to help all animals. And help us continue our work of raising awareness about veganism, animal rights and campaigning to end the cruelest practices in the food industry by donating.