The egg industry has had quite a complex relationship with the public, arguably a more up and down one than any other food industry. They’ve gone from being a staple in every person’s breakfast to public enemy number one. This is especially so after more, unbiased information came out about how eggs are not, nor have they ever been, the health food they were advertised as.
Eggs have a unique spot in the vegan/food world, as the products themselves don’t require any direct slaughter. However, slaughter occurs, massively, every single day so that people can have eggs. This is something the egg industry works overtime to keep hidden. Below are nine facts, which the egg industry would also probably prefer people not know.
9 Things You Didn’t Know About Eggs, But Wish You Did
Male Chicks are Killed
The global egg industry slaughters over 6 billion male chicks — shortly after they’re born — every year. These chicks have been shown to be cognizant, intelligent, alert, and aware of their surroundings.
Battery Cages are the Norm
An overwhelming 95 percent of eggs come from chickens held in battery cages. These battery cages have no flooring and are stacked on top of one another, meaning that feces and urine drip down to the cages below. Multiple chickens are squished into one cage — unable to even spread their wings — and forced to live there in the darkness and ammonia-filled air, laying eggs until they’re taken to slaughter.
They are Bad for Your Body
Studies show that eating one egg a day shortens your life as much as smoking 5 cigarettes a day.
Chickens are Routinely Killed
In total, the global egg industry slaughters over 50 billion chickens.
They are Officially Not Healthy
Simply put, the U.S. Department of Agriculture told the egg industry that it was illegal to label eggs as “nutritious” or “healthy“ as there are rules against false and misleading advertising.
The Egg Industry Lies
The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the egg industry was lying to the public with its insistence that eggs were not bad for one’s health and that there was no scientific proof that eggs can lead to and contribute to heart problems (even though there is). Since then, the American Egg Board has spent millions to win back the public.
Free Range Isn’t as Good as It Seems
Free-range and humane egg labels are misleading and complex terms, as there is little to no legal precedence that can help dictate what is and isn’t ethical and compassionate. 20,000 chickens in one barn are still considered free-range and chickens that never see the sun in their life, and arrive at slaughterhouses with broken bones, can still be defined as providing “humane” eggs.
Cage-Free Doesn’t Really Exist
In fact, eggs labeled as cage-free can still come from chickens in cages. Cage-free eggs are, largely, a myth.
Most Eggs Are From Factory Farms
Between 95 and 98 percent of all eggs come from massive, overcrowded factory farms — meaning that the mom and pop farms that will argue that these practices don’t happen on their farms, to their chickens, aren’t relevant to this conversation.