Lies of the Egg Industry

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Lies of the Egg Industry

It’s no secret that, having researched “free range” and “organic” farming, I am less than impressed and feel that most consumers have been thoroughly deceived as to what such terms mean. Most people aren’t aware that “cage-free” chickens usually can’t go outside, that “free range” has no legal meaning, and again, doesn’t require that chickens have access to the outdoors, or that even “organic”, which is the highest standard there is, requires routine mutilation and death.  (More here.)

That said, do I believe that it is better to live like this…

freerangeeggs

…than like this?

Battery_Cage_01

Of course I do.  Both types of farming result in considerable and unnecessary suffering for the animals involved, but one is obviously worse than the other.  Most reasonably sane people will be able to agree on this last point.

That brings us to the United Egg Producers, who, like most egg producers on the North American continent, are very concerned with keeping chickens in battery cages.  Why is that?  Because they CARE about chickens.  Who knew?

freerange-uep2Witness the profound absurdity of a company insisting that free-range chickens, who in the very best of circumstances, DO go outside, won’t have any form of shelter and will have to stand around in the rain.

"I miss my warm dry cage, Dolly!"

"I miss my warm dry cage, Dolly!"

Same thing with this brilliant attempt at fooling the public.  Message to the public: apparently egg producers think you are unbelievably stupid.

freerange-uep1Apparently egg producers also think chickens are unbelievably stupid, and will stand around waiting to get picked off by predators.  I guess they haven’t read the studies which demonstrate that chickens actually have different ways to communicate where a predator is coming from, as well as how much of a threat it is.

One more:

freerange-uep3As if chickens lay their eggs for us to eat.  Even life in a battery cage does not destroy the chicken’s desire to create a nest for the babies she expects to have.  Because battery cages are entirely barren, however, they don’t generally have anything to build with–no straw, sticks, leaves, etcetera.

On occasion, however, and because the cages are (literally) never cleaned out:

deadhenFace it, egg producers, chickens don’t care whether their eggs taste like wild onions or like cheap corn meal/flax seed mixes.  They lay them for the same reason that all birds lay eggs–because they are expecting to have offspring.

My thanks to Suicide Food for bringing the ridiculous attempts of the UEP to my attention.


4 Comments

dawnofanewera

November 23, 2009 at 6:11 pm

That is so sad.
We have made a mockery of their lives.
Thanks, Becci. I’ll pass it on.

Paul

November 23, 2009 at 6:19 pm

Very sick indeed. More on this egg industry ad campaign at:

http://www.alternet.org/environment/140616/

Of course cage-free doesn’t necessarily mean cruelty-free, but I agree with you that it’s a lot better than being confined in a battery cage for life. It’s an improvement.

As Dr. Michael Appleby writes:

“Battery cages present inherent animal welfare problems, most notably by their small size and barren conditions. Hens are unable to engage in many of their natural behaviors and endure high levels of stress and frustration. Cage-free egg production, while not perfect, does not entail such inherent animal welfare disadvantages and is a very good step in the right direction for the egg industry.”

Paul

November 23, 2009 at 6:20 pm

Very sick indeed. More on this egg industry ad campaign at:

http://www.alternet.org/environment/140616/

Of course cage-free doesn’t necessarily mean cruelty-free, but I agree with you that it’s a lot better than being confined in a battery cage for life. It’s an improvement.

As Dr. Michael Appleby writes:

“Battery cages present inherent animal welfare problems, most notably by their small size and barren conditions. Hens are unable to engage in many of their natural behaviors and endure high levels of stress and frustration. Cage-free egg production, while not perfect, does not entail such inherent animal welfare disadvantages and is a very good step in the right direction for the egg industry.”

Also, endless eggless options:

http://www.hsus.org/farm/resources/pubs/egg_alternatives.html

John

June 6, 2011 at 9:36 am

The United Egg Producers is a discredited trade organization with a sordid history of consumer fraud and animal cruelty. The “UEP Certified” program allows hens to be confined in cages that provide each animal less space than a sheet of paper to spend her life. More at http://www.humanesociety.org/uep

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