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Why don't vegans eat eggs?

(109 Posts)
Floowho Thu 28-Jan-16 19:07:58

This is a genuine question. As someone who has kept chickens in my garden as a hobby, during the late Spring, Summer and early Autumn my chickens lay an egg every day. If I didn't eat these eggs that were laid, what was I supposed to do with them? If I left them in a nest box, one of the chickens would become broody and sit on the eggs, then lose condition because of it. Perhaps I am posting on the wrong board, and I am not looking to goad anybody, your life choices are your life choices. One of these chickens is still alive 8 years later, so she must have a good life, though she no longer lays. I am totally against battery farming, and will pay however much more for eggs that are as free range as possible.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Thu 28-Jan-16 19:12:37

Because they are an animal product?

NaughtToThreeSadOnions Thu 28-Jan-16 19:16:40

Vegans don't eat any animal products. Milk and eggs included. It doesn't matter how well the animals have been looked after they just don't feel it's right to eat animal or anything that comes from it.
Weather that's a health decision or ethical one.

rosewithoutthorns Thu 28-Jan-16 19:18:20

Yes an animal product. Does she wear leather shoes etc?

JesusInTheCabbageVan Thu 28-Jan-16 19:19:18

But surely veganism is for ethical reasons? Therefore if something isn't ethically 'wrong', what's the issue? I'd be interested to know the answer too.

NaughtToThreeSadOnions Thu 28-Jan-16 19:21:10

Does who wear leather shoes rose the chicken?!

There no other person in the op apart from the op herself. She eats eggs she's wondering why vegans don't?!

Boomerangs Thu 28-Jan-16 19:21:24

The egg industry is cruel they pour thousands of newborn male chicks into a grinder when they are alive. I wouldn't have a problem with home eggs like you have

Fontella Thu 28-Jan-16 19:21:46

I'm a lifelong vegetarian (a lacto-vegetarian to be precise as I drink milk and eat dairy), so not a vegan.

I don't eat any meat, fish or eggs and it's not an ethical thing with me - I just never did from a tiny kid, like the taste, smell or texture of any kind of flesh and with eggs, it's just the snottiness and consistency of them - when you first break that shell, and sometimes there's the little blood vessel thing in there and the muscle thing or whatever it is, I dunno really - but I just don't like them.

Do I give them to my family? Absolutely! They are a wonderful nutritional source of high-quality protein, vitamins, minerals, good fats etc. I also feed my family meat and fish - I just don't eat them myself.

Orda1 Thu 28-Jan-16 19:24:34

Who cares, more eggs for us, wheyyy

rosewithoutthorns Thu 28-Jan-16 19:25:34

Well you never know smile Sorry I meant do vegans were leather shoes? If so surely they shouldn't do this either.

Jesabel Thu 28-Jan-16 19:25:43

A vegan is unlikely to be keeping hens to lay eggs for them so that particular scenario isn't going to be an issue for them confused

NaughtToThreeSadOnions Thu 28-Jan-16 19:25:51

But it's about what they believe is ethically wrong isn't it?!
Yes for you it maybe that the animals are kept and fed in the best possiable way in lovely friends/free range.
For others it may be ethically wrong to eat another Mamal or bird or fish.
And it's not always for ethical reasons I became a vegatarian 15 years ago then went back to meat, and I've just gone back to vegatarian because after 3 years I know I geninely healtier when I'm not eating meat, I wouldn't rule that out for vegans!

Jesabel Thu 28-Jan-16 19:26:25

I've never known a vegan to wear leather shoes rose.

ifigoup Thu 28-Jan-16 19:26:52

Some vegans believe it's wrong to exploit animals' labour, especially their reproductive labour. (Carol J. Adams' book The Sexual Politics of Meat is interesting on this if you want an academic perspective.)

In other words, cows make milk to feed their calves, not to feed humans, but we take advantage. We make them have calves each year specifically so they keep lactating, and we don't allow them to nurse the calves. Bees make honey to sustain the hive, but we steal it. Hens lay eggs because they want chicks (as demonstrated by their going broody); we stop that from happening by breeding hens to lay more than they would otherwise, and then taking the eggs from them.

Even free-range hens on commercial farms often have pretty nasty lives. That said, I know less strict vegans who wouldn't have a big problem with people eating eggs from the kind of backyard hens you describe. Nonetheless, for many it's not just a welfare issue, but is more political than that.

Shakey15000 Thu 28-Jan-16 19:27:52

I still don't know what vegans do when it comes to headlice.

CottonFrock Thu 28-Jan-16 19:28:31

Ethical vegans avoid eggs because even free-range egg producers cull male chicks, and because they don't use animals as commodities - so no wool, silk, honey, as well as the more obvious leather etc.

NaughtToThreeSadOnions Thu 28-Jan-16 19:29:14

No Jesbel the op isn't saying why wouldn't a vegan eat eggs in the senioro she described but just why don't they eat them full stop as eating them is better for the chickens than leaving them in the coop so the it's not good for the hens argument in her mind is ruled out!

Veterinari Thu 28-Jan-16 19:29:25

It depends why people are vegans. Most ethical vegans believe that animals shouldn't be used for human gain - so they generally don't keep pets or use any animal products including honey, leather etc. They are often concerned about welfare but usually it's an ethical choice as by 'opting out' of the purchasing cycle they aren't promoting consumer demand for better welfare products.

I'm not really sure how your example of backyard chickens can be extrapolated to providing 'good welfare' eggs for everyone. Not very practical is it?

JesusInTheCabbageVan Thu 28-Jan-16 19:31:12

Fair point Naught.

rosewithoutthorns Thu 28-Jan-16 19:31:19

So a vegan will not use anything that contains animal products? It's a life style choice then too rather than just dietary?

Vanderwaals Thu 28-Jan-16 19:32:05

Could be for a variety of reasons.
Other ethical reasons.
Not knowing how the chickens are looked after and not having the facilities to take care of their own.
Health reasons - believing a plant-based diet is better for you.
If they're following a vegan lifestyle then it would be a bit strange to use eggs and nothing else. Although I'm sure some do.

DisappointedOne Thu 28-Jan-16 19:38:04

Other products, eg cosmetics, cleansers etc are likely to be or gave ingredients which have been tested on animals. Vegan products are much less likely to.

DisappointedOne Thu 28-Jan-16 19:38:13


Hiddlesnake Thu 28-Jan-16 19:40:49

I need to know what vegans do about headline too.

Floowho Thu 28-Jan-16 19:41:05

Finding this fascinating. I do believe that people who eat dairy should be aware of the impact of male calves and the meat trade. grin to the people who commented that it is an animal product, of course I know that. I suppose I need to hear from a vegan who has rescued battery hens who have started laying. My reasoning for asking is that happy hens like the ones I have can't help laying, and while one went broody the other two became agitated because they couldn't get to the nest box to lay.

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