Egg dilemma?

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Re: Egg dilemma?

Postby Gulliver » Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:22 pm

veganlifter wrote: In this situation I ask what is morally wrong with eating the eggs from these birds?

I would be interested to hear people’s views on this.
In my opinion, this is one of the less unethical kinds of egg you can eat. It's not vegan, but life is not in black and white. If you want to eat the eggs, eat the eggs. If you want to call yourself vegan, don't eat the eggs. It's up to you.
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Re: Egg dilemma?

Postby Frostfire » Wed Oct 05, 2011 2:49 pm

veganlifter wrote:I understand what you are saying about hens eating their own eggs, but how common is it?

Hi, just wanted to chime in with my experience. I've been volunteering at a farm animal rescue (see signature) since 2001. We get lots of eggs, especially in the spring, from our hens, peahens, guinea fowl, geese, turkeys, emus, etc and every one of the eggs is fed back to the girls and their flock/gaggle, etc. They go nuts when you crack the eggs open just a little, even if they are in their house and they hear you crack an egg they will come running! It is very common and is what I recommend for every rescue to do with their eggs. Life Rodolfo has said, it takes a lot of energy and vitamins to make an egg, it makes sense that those nutrients go back to the hens.
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Re: Egg dilemma?

Postby muchluv » Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:22 pm

Frostfire wrote:
veganlifter wrote:I understand what you are saying about hens eating their own eggs, but how common is it?

Hi, just wanted to chime in with my experience. I've been volunteering at a farm animal rescue (see signature) since 2001. We get lots of eggs, especially in the spring, from our hens, peahens, guinea fowl, geese, turkeys, emus, etc and every one of the eggs is fed back to the girls and their flock/gaggle, etc. They go nuts when you crack the eggs open just a little, even if they are in their house and they hear you crack an egg they will come running! It is very common and is what I recommend for every rescue to do with their eggs. Life Rodolfo has said, it takes a lot of energy and vitamins to make an egg, it makes sense that those nutrients go back to the hens.


Respect to you for volunteering at a sanctuary, that's a long time since 2001.

I once say someone on the interenet say hens only eat their own eggs if they're not fed properly. OF course this is just what one person has said and I am not implying your hens are not fed properly.

Do they eat their own eggs when they've been cracked? If so, is that because they then know the egg has no chance of turning into a chick?
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Re: Egg dilemma?

Postby xrodolfox » Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:52 pm

^well, there is no chance it'll turn into a chick after the egg is broken. ;)
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Re: Egg dilemma?

Postby Lordmuppet » Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:01 am

Despite being trained as an ethicist, I usually avoid threads like these. In this case the general tone is reasonable and no one has been called a nazi yet so here goes. Hopefully I won't be the first.

Prior to reading this thread I didn't really see any problem with eating eggs in a situation like this and even looked forward to (if i ever had the space) keeping some rescue hens (who would live in plenty of comfy space till they died of natural causes ... hopefully i didn't need to say that ...) and consuming the eggs. If I did this I wouldn't call myself vegan and would leave this board (which would make me very sad and perhaps be reason enough not to do it).

As I see it now, if one keeps chickens and has access to their eggs there is dilemma

1) you eat the eggs in which case (as was pointed out) you may be giving the impression that eggs are necessary for health and so indirectly supporting the egg industry.
OR
2) you don't eat the eggs in which case you may be giving the impression that veganism is dogmatic (i.e. avoiding animal products not to reduce suffering but simply avoiding animal products to avoid animal products).

Or perhaps the solution (to avoid dogmatism and avoid supporting the egg industry) is to not eat the eggs and if people ask why stress there is nothing directly wrong with it but emphasize your worries about indirectly supporting the egg industry.

Slightly tangentially, perhaps by keeping the hens and eating the eggs one promotes a better way of relating to animals that is more reciprocal. You take something small from the hens (this in itself doesn't bother me. I suspect the idea of animal property doesn't really work I think and anyway it is an unnecessary concept and one that is probably politically disadvantageous) and you give them something that improves their lives.
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Re: Egg dilemma?

Postby Lordmuppet » Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:01 pm

I should note that my response was long mainly because i find the question intellectually interesting

On the practical, everyday level it is important to keep sight (and here i'm just echoing what JP and others have said) of the fact that the main thing is to lead a life/provide a living example of a life where one continually attempts to reduce one's contribution to the unnecessary suffering in the world.

You are doing this (with or without eggs from the chickens your talking about) and relative to this point this issue about the eggs isn't nearly as important

This is all obvious but useful to keep in mind
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Re: Egg dilemma?

Postby muchluv » Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:57 pm

Rodolfo, think I missed something out. That's kind of what I mean: the chickens eat them when they're cracked, but is this only when they're cracked, because they know they wont be chicks? They don't crack them themselves?

Lordmuppet I think you had some good points, respect for saying that about the battery hens/not calling yourself a vegan. Think a lot of people would feel uncomfortable sharing. Also, dogmatic, good word, I'm gonna memorise that!!

Some rescues sell their hens eggs, I wouldn't buy them, but other people might and it helps pay for running costs. Think it comes down to the cihckens and them using them, whether they eat them, etc.
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Re: Egg dilemma?

Postby Konstantin » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:57 am

Lordmuppet wrote:you don't eat the eggs in which case you may be giving the impression that veganism is dogmatic (i.e. avoiding animal products not to reduce suffering but simply avoiding animal products to avoid animal products).


I wouldn't eat the eggs, but I would reject any implications of being dogmatic. The reality for me is that being vegan opens up so much new food that there isn't room for eggs in my diet. There are many thousands of vegetable sources, and many different ways of eating them, so including something from a chicken's arse has no relevance to me.

That's just me. Also relevant is the proving you can live well as a vegan. Although I have no problem whatsoever with sanctuaries and individuals selling the eggs. This reduces demand for commercial eggs. Also, I do a chicken rescue run and lots of people give these chickens good homes with the intention of getting free eggs. If they didn't get eggs, these chickens might not get homes.
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Re: Egg dilemma?

Postby Lordmuppet » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:59 am

Konstantin wrote:
Lordmuppet wrote:you don't eat the eggs in which case you may be giving the impression that veganism is dogmatic (i.e. avoiding animal products not to reduce suffering but simply avoiding animal products to avoid animal products).


Also relevant is the proving you can live well as a vegan. Although I have no problem whatsoever with sanctuaries and individuals selling the eggs. This reduces demand for commercial eggs. Also, I do a chicken rescue run and lots of people give these chickens good homes with the intention of getting free eggs. If they didn't get eggs, these chickens might not get homes.


Good point about the chickens not getting homes.

As for proving you can live well as a vegan, I entirely agree and mentioned this (or failing to do this is) as one side of the dilemma i suggested see 1)

I should note too that i wasn't meaning to say that all people who keep chickens and don't eat the eggs are dogmatic (there are plenty of good reasons in this thread for not eating the eggs including the one you just mentioned) what i was worried about was the appearance of dogmatism to someone unaware of these reasons. Like i said maybe all this requires is being open and public about the reasons.

so when you said you do a chicken rescue run do you mean you have a sanctuary? Pictures (or link to your website) would be cool :)
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Re: Egg dilemma?

Postby Konstantin » Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:28 pm

I agree about appearing to be dogmatic, we just have to explain ourselves well. It's maybe a bit like appearing to be over-sensitive or over reacting to the harmless practice of milking (as some people still believe it to be).

I don't have any chickens myself as my garden is small and my 2 dogs would kill them. I take the chickens from a farm that lets people collect rather than sending them to slaughter, and there are a few homes ready to take them. One wonderful lady puts the word out; the day after I delivered 200 to her last time, she had people collect 150 in various numbers the next day. Some took 3, some took 12, one guy took 50. They all pay about 50p a chicken and this helps with the costs of the operation - which last time got 4000 chickens to new homes.

There's a thread about this here:http://www.veganfitness.net/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=19886&hilit=chicken
And a video from a now closed sanctuary here: http://pets.webshots.com/video/30222008 ... 4428WEQMLO
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Re: Egg dilemma?

Postby MissKitty » Sun Nov 06, 2011 1:41 am

I don't see an ethical dilema in eating the eggs you have accsess too, as the chicken you speak of are rare, that someone has opened up thier life and home to rescue chickens..I hear this all the time "but I have chickens in my yard, whats wrong with that" well other than you got them from a pet store, who allowed the males to go into a macerator or that I doubt you want to have this hen around eating up resources when she stops producing eggs....

personally however, even if I had accsess to these animals, I would never want to eat a chickens mentral cycle....
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Re: Egg dilemma?

Postby ColleenE » Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:20 am

I know the 'menstrual cycle' thing is commonly used to give a gross factor to egg eating but I must inject---chickens are not mammals, they do not have menstrual cycles.

An interesting ethical question. But for every vegan who said they would neverever eat eggs, how many of those own pets and feed them some kind of animal product? That's a whole 'nother conversation but my point is that all of us have boundaries in the sand when making decisions about what constitutes veganism. I kill cockroaches, for instance. Is exploiting human labor also against veganism? Etcetcetc. I would say with the egg thing: your being a "good vegan" depends on your ethical decisions about what is the most humane, kind actions for you based on some reflection. We all have slightly different parameters.
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Re: Egg dilemma?

Postby Simon » Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:57 pm

Well the ethical problem with eating eggs is not the fact that no one died laying that egg or that it's a future baby chicken inside. it's not. it's a chicken period, a menstruation (to the person above me, it still is an unfertilized reproductive cycles, just like in humans.)

the real ethic problems with eggs are :

-male chicks are ground up, more often than not alive, because they have no commercial values.
-female chicks have their beaks cut off, with no anasthesics, by hot metal plates
- most egg production puts the laying hens in terrible conditions. if you think "grass fed", "free range" and the likes matters, it usually doesn't. they still have the same terrible conditions for most of their lives.
-hens are killed as soon as their production diminishes, which is not many years. just like milking cows, they are slaughtered at 1/10th of their life expectancy.

on top of that, it's just bad for you. loaded with cholesterol, saturated fat, salmonella, etc.

if you are into ethics, just do a little research and you'll be disgusted by eggs pretty fast.
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