Apr 23 2009

What dies first- the chicken or the egg?

by Amanda

Hello!  This is my first post contributing to Veganise Me, and I look forward to any feedback that you have!  I hope to generate lots of posts for this blog and help anyone along who is considering veganism.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions!


It really gets my goat when I tell people that I am a vegan, and they say things like, “What about eggs?  The egg isn’t fertilized so it wouldn’t hatch in the first place, so its not really an animal. So what’s the harm?!”

If you have the time, and wonder the same thing, please read the following excerpt from ‘Diet for a New America’, by John Robbins.


Male chicks, of course, have little use in the manufacture of eggs.  So what do you think happens to the males?  How are the little fellows greeted when, having pecked their way out of their shells, expecting to be met by the warmth of a waiting mother hen, they look around and seek to begin their lives on earth?

‘They are, literally, thrown away.  We watched at one hatchery as ‘chicken-pullers’ weeded makes from each tray and dropped them into heavy-duty plastic bags.  Our guide explained: ‘We put them in a bag and let them suffocate’.’

It’s not a picture to bring joy to a mother’s heart, but over half a million little baby chicks are ‘disposed of’ in this fashion every day of the year in the United States.  In the seconds it takes you to read this paragraph, over 2,000 newborn male chicks will be thrown by human hands into garbage bags to smother among their brothers, without the slightest acknowledgement that they are alive.

And they are, perhaps, the lucky ones.  Because for those chicks allowed to live, the ‘life’ that follows is truly a nightmare.

In today’s modern factories, chickens, exquisitely sensitive to the earth’s natural rhythms of light and dark, never see or feel the light of the sun.  Broiler chicks arrive at the producers via conveyer belt, in batches of tens of thousands.   Fresh from the incubators and mechanized hatcheries, only a few hours old, the fluffy yellow babies peep constantly in frail little voices for their missing mothers.  But they will never know the sound of their mother’s voice, nor the warmth of her body, nor the comfort of her protection.  There will be no scratching in the dust for tasty bugs, no struting and preening, no crowing to announce the dawn.”

I’ll spare you the rest of the chapter, because it made me cry, but if you really want to know what goes into the production of your food, please buy this book.  Its horrible, atrociously horrible.  Everyone needs to understand where their food is coming from.  The neatly wrapped packages on the shelf hide something very sinister indeed.

Back to the egg issue, THIS is just one of the reasons why I don’t eat eggs.  No, they aren’t animals when they are not fertilized, and yes, chickens will lay eggs whether people eat them or not, but it is the CONDITIONS in which the chickens are kept that are the problem.  When we begin to understand this and do something about it instead of hiding from the issue, then some positive changes can occur.