World Egg Day: The UK Egg Industry Is Lying to You
From the very moment they’re born until the day they’re sent to slaughter, chickens on egg farms endure a living nightmare – and it’s all because humans want to eat their eggs.
The UK egg industry wants you to believe its tales of “happy” chickens, but in reality, birds on egg farms are typically forced to lay in horrific conditions day after day until they’re eventually sent to slaughter.
For male chicks, life usually ends when it has barely begun. Because they can’t lay eggs and haven’t been bred to produce excessive flesh for meat, they’re regarded as useless and are literally thrown away. They face a horrific death – either tossed into the rubbish and left to suffocate or thrown alive into a high-speed meat grinder.
— Vegan Outreach (@veganoutreach) April 5, 2014
Even the RSPCA states that it permits “the use of gas and maceration [grinding] for the killing of day old chicks” in the egg industry as part of its “RSPCA Assured” scheme. Remember: labels like this only make consumers, not animals, feel better.
We permit both the use of gas and maceration for the killing of day old chicks. Done correctly, both methods can offer an effective and humane kill and our welfare standards set strict parameters stating how both of these methods must be carried out to ensure this is the case.
— RSPCA (England & Wales) (@RSPCA_official) May 7, 2018
Female chicks are no more fortunate. When they’re just a few days old, farmers cut off part of their beaks with an infrared laser to prevent them from pecking and injuring each other out of frustration at the stressful conditions.
In the UK, hens are kept in misleadingly named “enriched” cages, which are essentially battery cages by another name, giving each bird the equivalent of only three Post-it notes more space than standard battery cages. More than half of all eggs produced in this country come from hens housed in these cruel, claustrophobic conditions.
They commonly sustain broken bones and suffer from osteoporosis, and disease runs rampant in the filthy, cramped sheds. Many birds die, and the survivors are often forced to live alongside the rotting bodies of dead cagemates.
When their egg production begins to wane, they’re killed.
Shoved into small crates, they endure a harrowing journey to the abattoir – a trip so horrific that over a million of them die in transit each year. When the survivors arrive, their legs are shackled and their throats are cut – often while they’re still conscious.
Nothing about the egg industry’s treatment of chickens is pleasant for them. Millions of birds spend their entire lives in cramped cages, never able to stretch out a single wing, breathe fresh air, or feel the warmth of the sun on their backs.
What You Can Do
It’s easy to turn your back on the callous cruelty of the egg industry – just stop eating eggs. It’s the kindest thing that you can do for chickens, and it’s also a great move for your health. There are plenty of scrumptious substitutes: try a tasty tofu scramble for breakfast, and substitute bananas or apple sauce for eggs in your cookies and cakes.
Show that you’re serious about helping chickens by downloading our free vegan starter kit – then tell your friends about it and persuade them to follow your example!