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In the United States it is estimated that each person consumes almost 300 eggs per year. As of 2018 we have an estimated 57.5 million laying hens to feed the egg demand. Not only do the female hens live a miserable existence, the males are immediately killed. Furthermore the egg industry is unsustainable, causing irreparable damage to the environment.
The egg industry is horrendously cruel to the hens. They live a miserable 2 years of life starting from birth to death. Baby chicks born in this industry never see their mother. They are all born in giant incubators before being separated into groups of females and males.
The female chicks have their beaks removed by a hot blade so they don’t peck each other in their tight cages or small living spaces. Male chicks are tossed alive in the trash to suffocate to death, or ground up alive.
5 to 11 female chickens are put together in one cage at a time. These cages are usually stacked on top of each other which causes the lower level hens to be covered in urine and feces. Hens often die in the cages and are left to rot next to living hens. After 2 years, those that survive, are sent to slaughter.
(Reference https://www.peta.org/features/egg-industry-cruelty/ )
Although hens fortunate enough to be born in a cage free environment do suffer less atrocities. For example they are permitted to walk, spread their wings and lay their eggs in nests. However cage free businesses still support hatcheries that kill the male chicks upon hatching, female chicks still have part of their beaks burned off, and they are still slaughtered at 2 years of age.
Other inhumane conditions of cage free egg businesses include the practice of transporting the “old” hens to slaughter long distances without food or water.
In addition to the inhumane treatment of these birds, the egg industry has detrimental impacts on the environment. Negative impacts on the environment caused by the egg industry includes emission of greenhouse gases or and contamination of soil and water.
A group of scientists from the University of Oviedo in Spain analyzed the environmental effects of intensive egg production. They focused on 18 categories, including ozone depletion, climate change, terrestrial acidification, human toxicity and land occupation, among others. Furthermore there are negative effects associated with the manufacture of materials used in the packaging of eggs also harm the environment.
According to Amanda Laca, a researcher at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Environmental Technology at the University of Oviedo to Sinc, “The most affected were the transformation of water and land toxicity.”
(source Journal of Cleaner Production https://pubag.nal.usda.gov/catalog/5912054)
This leads to more deforestation, which is the destruction of natural plant life in order to plant crops. Deforestation is associated with all animal agriculture, not just the egg industry. All these environmental impacts are reasons the egg Industry is unsustainable.
What should you consume or use instead of eggs for baking? Thankfully there are multiple vegan options for egg replacements. Egg replacement has never been more easy for baking. Your choices include things like nut butters, such as peanut, cashew, and almond. Also bananas, sweet potatoes, and apple sauce.
Even more egg replacements for baking include chia seeds, flax seeds, and specifically designed products by vegan companies. Such as Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacement Powder, Just Plant Based Egg, and Vegan Egg (by follow your heart).
Furthermore there are a variety of vegan “egg” recipes such as tofu scrambles and omelettes. Vegan egg recipes are also made with ingredients such as chickpea flour, rice flour, cornstarch, and arrowroot powder. With so many delicious and nutritious environmentally friendly egg replacement options, there’s no reason to not cut back on our egg consumption as a whole.
In conclusion the egg industry is inhumane and cruel. The miserable lives and deaths of the hens and male chicks is nothing less than torture. Furthermore it’s completely unnecessary because of the multiple egg replacements we have available. Additionally this industry is environmentally unsustainable and causing irreparable damage to the earth, which is also unnecessary.