Eggland's Best... O_o

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

I am SO sick of seeing Spark shill for this absolutely atrocious company.

Yes, this will be a vegan/AR post. If you don't want to read it, please back click rather than read and leave po'ed comments. You were warned. I do hope, however, that most people will want to know rather than just ignore it because it makes them uncomfortable...


Full disclosure, I don't like ANY egg producers and if I could wave a magic wand and take one animal based food out of the human diet, I'd pick eggs without hesitation. Yes, eggs before meat. Eggs even before veal. I don't support "cage free" eggs... I support egg-free diets. Even cage free birds are crowded, debeaked, force molted... and the hens for cage free eggs come from the very same hatcheries as their battery cage brethren.

Those same hatcheries were involved in the bad press recently when the general population was shocked to hear (from the United Egg Producers, themselves, even) that male layer breed chicks were killed upon birth by being ground up in wood chippers or tossed into plastic bags/dumpsters and left to suffocate or starve to death.

"Cage Free" eggs are a bandaid. It's a largely meaningless term that doesn't come close to meaning what the average consumer thinks it does. You think cage free and you see Old McDonald's farm with a happy flock of hens guarded by a cocky rooster pecking in a barnyard. Or out in the grass, sunning and dust bathing. You don't think this:

(note the sheared beaks)

Fact: "Cage Free" is an unregulated term. "Free Range" is also unregulated. Producers must have the hens have access to the outdoors. In many cases this means a small door in one wall of the shed that goes into a tiny concrete yard where only a handful of hens could fit. Organic also only regulates the food the hens are given - it must be organic feed: no pesticides/herbicides, no animal by-products. Organic eggs are still laid by confined, debeaked hens 99% of the time. How about pasture raised or small farms? Where do they get their chicks? If it's from a hatchery then the same things hold true for them as the larger factory producers re: male chick disposal. Are they still debeaked? Most of the time, the answer is "yes" to both questions.

But, more specifically, about Eggland's Best...

The company is being cited for false advertising.
Why false advertising instead of animal cruelty? Simple. Chickens (and other poultry - rabbits are included as "poultry" too, btw, which makes so no sense.) aren't covered by the Humane Slaughter Act. What is done to them can't be fought as it breaks no laws(!) Any practice that is "industry standard" (read: whatever most farms do) is not illegal. Even if it's blatantly cruel. Even if we'd be screaming bloody murder if it was being done to companion animals.

It sickens me that Spark would continue to give "Eggland's Best" this advertising.
I understand that a lot of people either don't know about egg production, don't want to know or don't really care but I felt the need to say something and at least offer some information. It's better than just flipping off my monitor or preaching to the choir at home.

Flame on.
I really don't care what folks think about this post or if someone gets upset.
The chickens can't talk so I have to talk for them. A little discomfort in a reader PALES with what the hens go through to put those cheap eggs on so many tables.

Tara asks, "please go egg-free!"

Even starting slowly by gradually reducing the amount of eggs you eat until you can phase them out entirely helps the animals. And, honestly, there are only two items I can't veganize due to them requiring copious eggs - meringues and angel food cake. Which are absolutely not worth hurting hens for, IMO. Period.

Need links to egg-free version of your favorite recipes?
Want help baking without eggs? Note me or comment (or request I do a post) and I will tell you what I know about baking and cooking delicious, egg-free goodies and meals.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I couldn't agree more! And good on you for speaking out! People need to open their eyes to the truth. I encourage anyone to watch the documentary Earthlings to learn about the cruelty done to animals in the name of food, clothing, entertainment and profit! As I said to my gf the first time I watched it as a former meat-eater, it was the damn chickens that got to me! Not the cuddly cows or pigs or other farm animals but what I considered the "least attractive" of them, the egg-laying chickens that were in the battery cages that really got to me and made me want to go vegan.
    2739 days ago
  • ANNE7X7
    I'm not a big egg-eater, especially after seeing the movie Food Inc. It's disturbing what they do to those poor animals!

    I already don't use a whole lot of eggs, but i think I will try to cut back even more. Chia seeds and flax meal are also good, healthy replacements to eggs in baking.

    Thanks for sharing this!
    2748 days ago
    Great blog post!! I'm sending the article to work so I have time to read it. Eggs and raw meat are two things I never could stand to touch. When I did eat animal products DH bought me restaurant gloves so that I could cook. Ewwww!!! Thankfully I am now vegan so it's not a problem. Thanks for the post.
    2748 days ago
    Rescue chickens?! HELL YES!!!! I will totally check into that when we're ready! I never would have guessed!!
    2748 days ago
    I applaud you for this post! I'm really grateful for people like you because a lot of times I avoid these kinds of topics as I don't enjoy arguments in the least bit. I've been vegan since I was 16 (almost 3 years now) and this has a lot to do with why I chose it.

    The truth shall set us free (and that includes our animal friends). emoticon
    2748 days ago
    MBSHAZZER: I like Ener-G egg replacer. It's basically just a blend of starches, mostly potato, that works well in most baked goods that call for 2-3 eggs, max. I also make a lot of recipes where there isn't exactly an egg replacer involved. Most have some sort of binder (I like pumpkin or bananas, actually) and then a leavener like baking soda or powder. Flaxseed or chia seed "eggs" also work really well. :) I tend to gravitate towards the Ener-G or fruit puree/b.p. versions, though.

    SCHWINNER: If you can find rescued hens, that's a great way to get eggs as humanely as possible (while still eating eggs). We're lucky in the Twin Cities because we have an urban chicken rescue! Chicken Run in Minneapolis. That's where I met Tara. :) A lot of backyard chickens cause problems due to people ordering chicks online. Those chicks come from the same bad hatcheries and are debeaked already. :( Plus, the chicks are sent via USPS(!) and many die in transit. Compounding the problem, it's relatively hard to sex chicks (especially as quickly as workers have to work) so a certain amount of roosters get through and are sent to people. The layperson can't tell they are roosters until they are a quite a bit older. That's when people dump them. :/ Chicken Run has a lot of roosters who were abandoned in busy city areas who are now looking for forever homes due to this.

    Chicken Run has loads of good info about backyard chickens. They are, of course, focused more on hens and roosters as companions but the information is good even if you'd eat the eggs. If you adopt via a rescue, you'd have a friend for life. :) The chickens at Chicken Run are so friendly and personable! Like dogs/cats/rats/other companion animals. They like people and are so smart and fun! I'd love to adopt a small flock eventually. I'd not eat the eggs - I'd break them open so the hens could take the nourishment back instead - but I don't think it's cruel for others to do so as long as the hens are family members and are treated as such.
    2749 days ago
    I love eggs... and thank you for shedding some light onto this uncomfortable topic. I have wanted my own backyard chickens for years, and this only fuels that desire more.
    2749 days ago
    I'm not a big egg fan... something about eating an unfertilized chicken just grosses me out. I mean, would you eat your own eggs? It just doesn't make any sense, aside from the atrocious treament issues. (completely unrelated side note - I was talking to a friend of mine who has her tubes tied. I asked what happened to her eggs every month and she wasn't sure... which led to the question - if she jumped up and down repeatedly while ovulating, would she get scrambled eggs???)

    Plus, one thing that I can never understand is that the "cage free" eggs come in a PLASTIC container! WTF??? It's completely environmentally unfriendly!!

    I find that 2 tbsp of water and 2 tbsp of cornstarch is a good egg sub in baking... how about you? What do you use as replacement?
    2749 days ago
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