4 devastating issues in the egg industry you need to know
The egg industry is scary – especially for the hens and chicks who are forced into confined, painful, and unhappy lives. But to make a change, you first need to be informed. Here are the 4 biggest issues surrounding the egg industry:
1. The treatment of chicks is completely inhumane
Chicks’ beaks are often mutilated just hours or days after birth without any painkillers to stop the chicks from pecking each other. The pain makes it hard for them to eat and drink, leading to malnutrition and dehydration – and the pain could turn chronic.
Male chicks don’t produce eggs, so egg farmers consider them “useless.” This means that males are often disposed of through suffocation or grinders – some of the most inhumane slaughter methods around.
2. Hen abuse is commonplace
PETA reports that hens are shoved into cages measuring “18 inches by 24 inches and hold up to 10 hens,” even though a hen’s wingspan can measure up to 36 inches. The filthy conditions of these cages create disease and extreme discomfort; hens are naturally clean animals.
After the hens’ bodies are “used up” – meaning they no longer produce eggs – the animals are slaughtered. This happens when they’re about two years old, even though their lifespan is five to eight years.
3. “Free range” doesn’t mean cruelty free
People buy “free range” or “cage free” eggs because they think they’re supporting animal welfare, but that’s sadly not the case. The term “free range” is mostly a marketing spin – the hens who lay those eggs still suffer. The farms are often overcrowded, many hens still have their beaks mutilated and, in the end, they’re slaughtered once they stop producing eggs.
4. The egg industry is far from eco-friendly
On top of the mistreatment of hens and chicks, the egg industry also has a major impact on the environment. Feed production is one of the biggest culprits – it takes a lot of land and resources to grow chicken feed.
Water and soil pollution also have a terrible impact on the environment – as does the waste created by slaughtering hens and chicks.
Find out about more unethical industries:
- Here are the 3 worst ethical issues of the dairy industry
- The ethical issues of the meat industry you need to know about
- The scary truth about animals as entertainment