Are eggs and dairy worse than meat?

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Are eggs and dairy worse than meat?

Imagine being raised for meat, fattened up, and slaughtered.

Now imagine being raised for your breastmilk, or your eggs.

In the case of milk, you are artificially inseminated and impregnated. After a period of months—nine, in the case of both cows and humans—you give birth to a baby. Within hours—or days, if you’re lucky—your baby is taken from you. You won’t see it again. If born male, he usually will become veal. (The veal industry was actually created as a way to make money off of those extra male dairy calves.) If female, she will be raised to replace other older cows at the dairy.

Machines are attached to your nipples, and, for a few months, the milk meant for your baby is siphoned out.

Then it starts all over.

You’ll give birth to four or five babies, and then it’s off to the cows_dairy1_usdaslaughterhouse. You’ll be turned into cheap meat—of course—because your body is so weak and worn out after four years of producing seven to ten times more milk than you would in nature, and even though you’re perhaps a quarter as old as you could become. Now that you can’t give any more milk, your body is a byproduct.

If you are a chicken, raised for your eggs, you won’t have your babies taken away from you. No matter where you are, though, you will feel an intense drive to prepare for the arrival of chicks. Even in a battery cage, where there is no bedding material, you may attempt to make nests out of the body of a dead cagemate. Your eggs roll down the slanted wire floor of the cage and away from you.

After a year or a year and a half, you will be incredibly weak from your calcium-deficient diet—the creation of an egg requires many nutrients, including calcium—but in order to get a few more hundred eggs from you and the other hens, the farm will induce a period of forced-moulting by starving you. For at least five days, there is no food. Six days pass.Seven.They will be in here for 1-2 years.

The farm may go fourteen days or longer without feeding you, and if you live, you will have lost 30% of your weight. (5 to 10% of the other chickens will die, and on an average farm that adds up to thousands of birds.) You might be force-moulted one more time, or even twice, in order to get as many eggs from your tired body as possible. And then, when—like the dairy cow—you can’t produce enough of your reproductive secretions (yum), you become cheap meat—dog food, soup, or baby food. You will be less than two years old, less than a fifth of your potential lifespan.

People sometimes stop eating meat because of their concern for animals, but they continue to consume other animal products. But broiler chickens die at around 45 days old, rather than languishing for a year or a year-and-a-half, and even beef cattle die a couple of years younger than those raised for dairy. Comparatively, the egg and dairy industries cause far more suffering. Think of it this way: egg-laying chickens and dairy cows are still killed for meat—they just suffer longer first.

I can think of few things more horrible in farming today than the standard methods by which we procure milk and eggs.

(And yes, I include organic and free-range stuff in this as well.)


9 Comments

Ed Coffin

February 27, 2009 at 9:20 am

I couldn’t agree with you more. I have a HUGE gripe with vegetarians for this exact reason. It’s one thing to be vegetarian and not know, you don’t learn everything overnight. But when you have these people who have been vegetarian for decades and admit they know the horrors of dairy and eggs, yet still consume them… that’s a real problem and I don’t know how they can argue that they care about animals at that point. Moving through a transition is one thing, but just ignoring the facts to satisfy your own taste buds is so wrong. We really need to start focusing, as activists, on dairy and egg issues. I am always dumbfounded at the amount of people who don’t realize that cows just don’t “give” milk. Hey, I didn’t know before I became vegan. It’s a sick, brainwashed society we live in. Change will come, keep spreading the truth!

Joanne

March 8, 2009 at 8:26 am

when I was vegetarian I was always dieting and trying to lose weight and just kept getting fatter. As all dieters know, it’s just a vicious cycle. Totally unhealthy! But when I gave up eggs and dairy for ethical reasons I also started to lose the weight naturally without even thinking about it. My body gradually lost the unhealthy weight over 1.5 years and I’ve never felt better my whole life (physically and mentally). I’ve now maintained my healthy weight for 13 years without ever thinking about it. I eat what I want, whenever I want without ever even thinking about my weight. I think my body just regulates itself now because it loves all the good stuff it’s getting. Another thing I’ve noticed since becoming vegan is that I rarely get sick any more. I used to be just as sickly as any milk and egg eater. I got the flu every winter, sometimes multiple times. But now, I go for 3-5 year stretches without catching a cold or flu and when it happens, it usually lasts a day or two.

Most people treat their bodies like toxic dumping grounds without even thinking about it. Dairy is filled with pus, blood, fat (yes even skim milk contains 3% heart clogging saturated fat!) and hormones (even organic milk has 59 different kinds of naturally occurring hormones). No wonder people are fat. A dash of milk in the coffee and a pat of butter on the toast will all end up on your butt, thighs and worst of all, in your arteries!

And eggs…..ewwwww isn’t that like a chicken’s period? Doesn’t the chicken do other things out of that hole? I may be a little picky here, but there is no way I’m going to eat menstrual that came out of a chicken’s crapper!

m4paz

September 29, 2010 at 9:52 am

I’ve been a vegetarian for over 20 years. I am not vegan, but my consumption of dairy and eggs is very low. I’m proud of the steps I’ve been making towards more conscious eating and living.

I think that criticizing vegetarians for not going vegan is counterproductive and total bs. I do not castigate meat-eaters, but praise and encourage them if they reduce their intake of animal products. It’s not good to alienate people like that.

Every small step DOES make a difference. We all know that food is very cultural and personal, and not all people can change their habits that easily.

Maybe vegans are the most evolved of all (although some of the ones I know are just plain control freaks), but if you are you don’t have to be so arrogant about it.

Becci

September 29, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Hi m4paz,

Thanks for your comment and I’m sorry if my blog post came off as judgemental. You’re 100% right that people should be applauded for every step they make towards compassion, no matter how small it is, and I absolutely think that it’s wonderful when people decide to stop eating meat, even if they still continue to eat other animal products.

That said, though, it doesn’t change the fact that dairy and eggs are crueler than meat, and there’s no reason to pretend otherwise. A lot of people become vegetarian because they are concerned about animal suffering, and so it makes sense to let them know about the dairy and egg industry. (Frankly, I was vegetarian once too, and I’m sorry that someone didn’t tell me about eggs and dairy earlier.) Now that you know the information, it’s your right to make whatever choices you feel are appropriate.

Congratulations on being vegetarian for so long, by the way!

Don’t avoid with your eyes, what they must endure with their bodies. « stopthebarbarism

March 7, 2011 at 4:35 pm

[…] http://liberationbc.org/blog/2009/02/are-eggs-and-dairy-worse-than-meat/ […]

you are all idiots

April 15, 2011 at 6:34 am

Are you people stupid or just not willing to acctually see what farming is. Did you know without farming you wouldn’t eat??? I can’t believe how stupid you all are, it just blows me away!!!!p.s. chickens lay eggs naturally, we dont kill chicks by eating eggs aduh, if you had any clue about animals you would know this, maybe you should do some research, the egg doesnt turn into a chick unless it gets fertilized by a rooster. Also cows go into heat every year.

EmpathyIsHuman

May 11, 2011 at 12:43 pm

@you_are_all_idiots
Maybe you should do some research.

It takes 15 pounds of grain to make one pound of meat. That doesn’t sound like it “feeds people” to farm animals.

Artificially inseminating cows every 10 months or pigs every 3 months is particularly natural or pleasant unless your idea of fun is being chained to a wall and repeatedly impregnated until you die from exhaustion.

All male chicks (because they don’t lay eggs, aduh) are literally thrown into the garbage which isn’t a nice place to starve to death, so yes: we do kill chickens to harvest eggs.

A former battery hen learns to walk | Liberation BC blog

July 25, 2013 at 9:01 am

[…] Chickens raised as meat are one of the most brutally abused animals on the planet–and yet chickens raised for their eggs have it so much worse. […]

Angie

January 27, 2014 at 9:59 am

I just found this article. Very informative! If anyone is looking for vegan recipes, check out: veganrecipereview.com

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