Cruel Eggs Are No Fun For Chickens
It's the first World Egg Free Day and the five nations of
New Zealand, Australia, Belgium, Canada and The Netherlands
have come together to put the chicken before the
World Egg Day is traditionally celebrated on the 2nd Friday of October, but now World Egg Free Day aims to eclipse and trump the outdated International Egg Commission's awareness day - reminding people of the cruelty of eggs and offering alternatives. Kiwi actors and vegan power couple, Emmett Skilton and Holly Shervey, have teamed up with the Vegan Society to speak out in support of chickens.
With the news last week that
Northern Farm Eggs which use colony cages are still abusing
their chickens, it is clear that the egg industry cannot
help but exploit these delightful birds. Colony cages are no
less cruel than the previous cages, with hens still living
next to dead, dying and decaying corpses. This is clearly
unacceptable and goes against New Zealand's animal welfare
laws. This farm has been repeatedly reported for poor
conditions, yet remains unpunished.
might seem an environmentally friendly option but they come
at the very high expense of the chicken. A chicken 50 years
ago, laid on average 80 - 150 eggs per year, the process of
producing bird eggs is hard on the bird. It is very
different from mammalian egg production, which does not take
much from the body. There's all that calcium to account for,
plus all the nutrients that the eggs contain, all have to
come from the mother. Hens now lay around 300 eggs per year!
That's how their environmental footprint is so low, it is
literally taken from the chicken.
terribly exploited by the egg industry and to think of a
chicken as simply an egg laying machine is to forget that
she is a living being. Chickens are sentient beings who
recognise their fellow chickens and other animals. They will
interact with each other and other creatures, they have a
strong social order. They make great pets and there are many
ex battery hens living out their days as feathered
Kiwi actor, director and
screenwriter Emmett Skilton and his actor partner Holly
Shervey are on board with this world-first campaign -
helping inspire Kiwis to show their compassion and try
“Saying no to eggs is saying yes to compassion for animals. Give it a go this October!” the couple proclaim
The vegan power couple, Skilton and Shervey, have been vegan for several years now and have never felt fitter or looked back. They both feel the benefits of egg free cooking.
stop for a moment to consider the chicken, whose body is
ravaged by her egg laying, it's no fun being in a cage
either, even the “new” colony cages are little better
than the previous cage restrictions. They offer little more
room (just the size of an A4 paper per bird), no decent
perches, still standing in litter, still getting beaks
trimmed, still kept inside, never to see the light of day.
They often suffer broken legs due to osteoporosis and can
end up sitting in place for days as inspections in crowded
cages are not easy. Free range chickens often still suffer
from overcrowding, beak trimming and the health defects of
over producing eggs for humans.
course, there's the matter of the males. Just one day old,
these unwanted babies are disposed of in the most horrific
ways, shredded without anaesthesia or gassed. Up to 3
million per year in New Zealand alone.There is nothing
sustainable in this practice.
Eggs are both
touted as healthy and unhealthy, their high cholesterol
content renders them unsuitable for those with
cardiovascular problems and their protein content may not be
ideal for many who already consume too much, resulting in
gout, obesity and kidney stones. Whilst eggs are nutrient
dense, this is because they were designed to grow an embryo
to a baby bird, able to hatch out from her shell. We are no
longer hunter gatherers desperate for sustenance wherever we
can find it, the modern day human has many resources
available in the supermarket.
found that the molecule called trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO)
which is produced by the consumption of animal products like
red meat and eggs correlates with increased cancer risks.
Unfortunately the increased risk for cancer starts at small
amounts of egg consumption: research in 2011 showed that
consumption of 2.5 eggs or more per week resulted in an 81%
increase of lethal prostate cancer compared with consumption
of less than half an egg per week. A 2014 study found that
those consuming more than 3 eggs per week were 25% more at
risk to develop gastrointestinal cancer. In 2015 it was
found that there was a 4% increased risk in breast cancer,
9% in ovarian cancer and 49% in fatal prostate cancer from
consumption of 5 eggs per week.
cancer either, a review of 14 studies published in 2013
found that those who consumed the most eggs increased their
risk of diabetes by 68%.
There are so many
studies telling us that a wholefood plant based diet is one
of the healthiest on the planet and there are so many great
alternatives for eggs. They are easily replaced in baking by
half a banana, a teaspoon of chia or flax seeds along with 3
tablespoons of water, a tablespoon of applesauce or peanut
butter. There are some fabulous omelette mixes on the
market, such as Orgran Easy Egg and Plantasy Savoury Egg
Mix, the main flavour components of which are chickpea flour
and sulphur salt. Even a mousse or meringue can be made
using chickpea water, or aquafaba, making use of something
which would otherwise be thrown away.
Make 8th October World Egg Free Day and try a great egg free quiche, omelette or meringue.
For more information see Egg Free Month