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To ask vegans what's wrong with free range eggs?

(117 Posts)
AndyWarholsBanana Wed 19-Feb-14 07:31:01

This isn't a TAAT but the raw vegan thread did make me think about the morals of the dairy industry and I can kind of see where vegans are coming from re cows' milk. And obviously battery farming is vile but I can't see how eating eggs from properly free range chickens is cruel. Am I missing something?

WelshMaenad Wed 19-Feb-14 07:32:15

Ethics of the egg industry - destroying male chicks etc.

Velma67 Wed 19-Feb-14 07:33:18

What happens to the chickens when they stop producing eggs?

In order to keep getting hens to produce more eggs, some of the eggs need to be hatched. What happens to the boy chicks?

formerbabe Wed 19-Feb-14 07:39:05

I asked a vegan once if they would eat an egg laid by a hen kept in someone's back garden leading a happy life so no egg 'industry' to consider in such circumstances....they had no answer. Checkmate!

DustyBaubles Wed 19-Feb-14 07:41:51

It rather depens on why they are vegan too.

I know lots of people for whom it isn't an ethical thing, they just find eating body parts repulsive.

AnyCrunchyCarrotFucker Wed 19-Feb-14 07:44:08

Er not checkmate, it's an interesting ethical question, and some would, some wouldn't.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 19-Feb-14 07:44:11

Why checkmate, FB? Probably their head (that sounds logical) working with their habit (eggs are off limits). I expect I'd struggle to come up with a logical reason not to eat dog, but I still wouldn't.

StealthPolarBear Wed 19-Feb-14 07:45:06

formerbabe, you know it isn't an argument to "win" don't you? I'm vegetarian. I don't go round telling people what they should and shouldn't eat and I don't mention it other than in the context of going out for a meal. Yet when I was younger people delighted in asking me "so do you wear leather shoes?" etc. They wanted an argument about it. I didn't. I eat what I choose to eat, you presumably do the same.

TheGreatHunt Wed 19-Feb-14 07:45:23

I thought vegans didn't eat the by products of animals hence no eggs. Simple really!

SanityClause Wed 19-Feb-14 07:45:50

How would at "happy hen" have got there, formerbabe?

Surely they would have bought it from a breeder, who would have had to destroy the male chicks hatched at the same time?

Your argument is flawed, i think.

JapaneseMargaret Wed 19-Feb-14 07:49:31


I am at a loss to wonder why you would wonder about this.

This is like asking why vegetarians don't eat free-range chicken.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 19-Feb-14 07:54:13

If you think free range eggs are from happy chickens scratching about in the dust and risking free you are very wrong.

The criteria is pretty shockingly low.

This is why vegans don't eat eggs.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 19-Feb-14 07:54:28

Roaming- damn iPhone

formerbabe Wed 19-Feb-14 07:55:17

It is not an ethical debate if there is no egg industry private household keeping a few chickens in their garden/land. Egg is you eat it? If not, why not?

trainersandaches Wed 19-Feb-14 07:56:23

Banana I am veggie rather than vegan but as I understand it is that most dietary vegans just do not consider animal products to be food.

Chickens, when left to their own devices, will peck through the eggshell and eat their own eggs if not nesting on them. It uses large amounts of calcium for a chicken to produce an egg, and they will reabsorb it if the eggs are not being used.

Some people who consider themselves vegans in every other way do eat rescued battery hen's eggs (and get roundly criticised - in the US Ellen DeGeneres got slated for this) so are vegetarians not vegans.

formerbabe Wed 19-Feb-14 07:56:32

Sanityclause...if we picked apart every action we made in that fashion, we would never buy/achieve/do anything.

Backinthering Wed 19-Feb-14 08:00:12

Male chicks are killed by crushing in specially designed machines. So eating eggs does directly correlate to animal deaths.
Plus as others have stated, the standards for free range are not that high.
I'm not a vegetarian btw but I am aware of industry practices.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 19-Feb-14 08:02:51

I hatch my own chicks out and they live in the back garden.

Dh still won't eat eggs, he's vegan and doesn't like the taste of eggs. Plus he thinks that animal products are unhealthy and contribute to cancer. I don't actually think he's bothered about animal welfare to be honest. He'll cook dd a bacon buttie.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 19-Feb-14 08:03:54

Its very rare for a chicken to eat its own eggs. I'm very lazy about egg collection and they can be in the nest box for days and don't get eaten.

StealthPolarBear Wed 19-Feb-14 08:05:05

formerbabe, did you read my post? I really object to your checkmate comment.

AndyWarholsBanana Wed 19-Feb-14 08:07:47

OK please don't laugh at me but are the chickens we eat all female? I suppose what I'm saying is that I can see why people would think that making cows lactate for years is cruel (which I never fully thought about before) but that I don't understand why keeping free range hens is cruel. My experience of vegans is that their reasoning for not eating animal products is for ethical reasons.
I can well believe that many free range eggs from shops aren't "properly" free range but I was thinking of the scenario of people keeping a few chickens in the back garden.

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Feb-14 08:08:13

Chickens, when left to their own devices, will peck through the eggshell and eat their own eggs if not nesting on them

Not as a matter of course, they don't. Only if they don't have enough nutrients in their food.

ConfusedPixie Wed 19-Feb-14 08:08:48

As a vegetarian, I wouldn't eat meat, even meat from a 'happy' home-raised animal. Why? Because I don't want to. I don't like the idea of eating meat myself (I don't care about others eating it) so I don't. I'm guessing that at the bottom of it, the same goes for vegans and eggs.

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Feb-14 08:09:00

Its very rare for a chicken to eat its own eggs. I'm very lazy about egg collection and they can be in the nest box for days and don't get eaten.


trainersandaches Wed 19-Feb-14 08:09:04

Viva don't some chickens do it and some not? If they get oyster shells or some other calcium supplement they are less likely, I thought.

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