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 Post subject: No such thing as "cruelty free" eggs because
PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 5:07 pm 
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Stegosaurus

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According to Crystal on veganfitness, who was kind enough to share her first hand experience and knowledge gained from working closely with egg laying hens at Farm Sanctuary:

"Others have heard me go on plenty about my time volunteering for an animal sanctuary where there were hens, so I'll only give a brief rundown .

For one, hens don't like their eggs being taken away, it is quite a struggle to get them and requires heavy gloves or blood will be shed! They will even go so far as to hide their nests so we wouldn't find them until we saw them strutting around the yard with their new brood (silly hens).

For two, if you break an egg in front of chickens, they go crazy and eat it up faster than you can blink! (Its really interesting, scientifically, how they reuse the nutrients lost by laying the eggs, but sorry, that is a side note). Eggs are a treat for them, they are their eggs afterall. "

Two facts that I myself was unaware of. But good to know for the "cruelty free eggs debate". :D 8)

Thanks Crystal!

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Last edited by compassionategirl on Thu Apr 13, 2006 12:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 2:13 pm 
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I used to know someone that had cage free chickens living in their yard, and they used to pick up the unfertilized eggs the hens left on the ground. The hens didn't care

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 2:25 pm 
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ya while back i told my mom im gonna get a chicken :D then i'd have to get a r00ster too lol .....that'll be fun

plus they're amazing pets :D
http://www.pathtofreedom.com/pathprojec ... kens.shtml

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 11:41 am 
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I will have to agree with CG,

I don't think we should eat eggs, free range, organic or not. How would we feel if someone came along and hauled off our newborns to be eaten.. I know I'd go nuts too!

W.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 12:00 pm 
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Rabbit

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Quote:
How would we feel if someone came along and hauled off our newborns to be eaten.. I know I'd go nuts too!


This is a COMMON misconception.... the eggs are UNFERTILIZED, meaning that there is no way that a chick will EVER hatch. It's basically a blank, and technically just a chicken-form of a human menstruation.

I'm not affirming or promoting the consumption of eggs, but organic, free-range, cruelty-free eggs aren't that bad. Supporting this type of farming is a whole hell of a lot better than factory farming. By supporting the the organic/free-range/cruelty-free farms, you are giving chickens a chance at a "normal" life. If these farms aren't supported, factory farmers/mass-production will override. Until there are "wild" chickens, chickens must live on farms to survive. It's a give and take relationship: people give their money to support the farms that in turn support the chickens, who give us their eggs (which they don't need.... it's a waste product. If it's not removed, eggs will just accummulate...)

Plus, on a nutritional aspect, eggs are actually really healthy for u. They are the only "natural steriod" and have been known to help increase muscle mass, sex drive, mood, skin, digestive problems, etc.... Plus, their protein is the most easily digested/absorbable/useable kind of protein available.

The ideal situation for me would be to have my own hens, but living right by Chicago and in a townhouse, this just ain't possible.

Not saying I'd eat them... but IDK, this is just my two cents.

Vegans still rock! :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 3:52 pm 
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Elephant

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Shelby wrote:
I'm not affirming or promoting the consumption of eggs, but organic, free-range, cruelty-free eggs aren't that bad.


While eggs can be organic, and 'free-range' (though the latter isn't as "free" or as 'ranging"as most people imagine), it's hard to imagine large numbers of eggs being produced in a cruelty-free way. Even on organic egg farms, I'm sure that once a chicken starts producing less, she is killed rather than allowed to live out her natural life. Perceiving animals not as living beings, but as products or as 'producers' to satisfy human needs may not be 'cruel' per se, but it is lacking in compassion.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:13 pm 
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Rabbit

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endcruelty wrote:
ya while back i told my mom im gonna get a chicken :D then i'd have to get a r00ster too lol .....that'll be fun

plus they're amazing pets :D
http://www.pathtofreedom.com/pathprojec ... kens.shtml


Please don't get a chicken before researching it thoroughly. It's not a small commitment. I believe you need at least six hens per rooster to keep them happy. Plus, chickens live long lives naturally.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 8:23 pm 
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I was referring to small-family-owned farms, co-ops, and people who have their own chickens (as pets). I am not endorsing this whatsoever, but it's a LOT better than mass production. What I'm saying is that the majority of people out there will never even consider going vegetarian, let alone vegan. Thus, having them give their money to the "lesser of the two evils" is much better than having them support mass-production. Sometimes, we vegans gotta choose which battles to fight and what is the most feasible fight to fight.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 10:04 pm 
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Yeah I agree with what Shelby wrote.

The way I see it, there's no sense in worrying about hippies who eat unfertilized eggs left on the ground by cage free hens. I'd rather spend my time tryng to get rid of factory farms

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 3:19 pm 
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Amen to that, Willpeavy!

In a perfect world, we vegans would be easily able to "convert" non-veggies into seeing the "bright side"... however, this is not even close to being reality. Like Willpeavy said, getting rid of factory farms is a much more pertinent goal and something a bit more feasible than trying to get EVERYONE to stop eating a food that humans became conditioned to consume. Just like how we have Pleather and fake suede to replace the evils of leather and suede, organic/free-range/cruelty-free eggs are an alternative to factory farm eggs (I know it's not exactly the same, b/c Pleather doesn't use animals whatsoever, but the O/F-R/C-F eggs are a "better" alternative if someone just cannot give up eggs).

Next task: eliminate puppymills, pollution, circuses, animal testing..... A vegan's work is never done!
:govegan:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 12:29 pm 
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Shelby wrote:

Plus, on a nutritional aspect, eggs are actually really healthy for u. They are the only "natural steriod" and have been known to help increase muscle mass, sex drive, mood, skin, digestive problems, etc.... Plus, their protein is the most easily digested/absorbable/useable kind of protein available.

:)


Shelby, with all due respect, it just sounds to me like you are just regurgitating what that doctor who told you to eat eggs said - doctor who didnt sound like he was very knowledgeable on nutrition at all based on stuff he told you/how he advised you.

The statement that "eggs are really healthy for you" does not deserve the confidence which you have given it - you posit it like it is "Truth" and it is far from Truth. Epidemiologists consistently find an inverse correlation between the percentage of animal foods (and the last time I checked, eggs were an animal food) in the diet and better health.

I believe that we have no right to steal and eat eggs from hens. It is NOT our eggs to take and eat. I think what some of you are saying is what is the ethical harm in eating eggs that have actually been "abandoned" by hens - eggs that the hens could not care less about. But how do you know that the eggs are truly abandoned? That the hens really couldnt care less what happens to them? Is it even possible to ascertain that with full certainty? I dont know if it is or isnt. But what I do believe is that animals have a right NOT to be commodified and exploited. When you start carving out exceptions for the minimum and ostensibly innocuous infringement on the rights of animals, that is in my view a slippery slope. THAT is the ethical harm in eating abandoned eggs. No, we dont want to give animals the right to vote, but they DO have rights IMO, and to not be conceptualized as food or lab subjects is one of them.

Furthermore, would you eat a free range, compassionately reared (bla bla bla) chicken if it died of natural causes? The logic would be the same here as in the egg scenario would it not? I wouldnt eat a naturally killed, humanely and freely raised chicken anymore than I would eat my cat at the end of his happy life or another human being for that matter. Would you? What is the difference? The difference is that we may still be unsuspecting victims of residual conditioning that eggs (and possibly chickens) are food. That somewhere in a small corner of our consciousness we have yet to fully reject that notion.

One of the things I like about Tom Regan's work is he shows just how patronizing and human-centred concepts like "compassionate" and "humane" are. Ultimately, they are self-serving concepts - there to make us feel less guilty about the choices we make.

Having said that, that is not to deny that "compassion for animals" is an easier sell than is "animal rights", and hence the welfare versus rights conundrum.

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People reviled today for their activism will be tomorrow's angels, and people respected today for their power will be tomorrow's demons. History will absolve us and condemn them. ~ Paul Watson


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 4:49 pm 
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First off, I am in NO WAY endorsing or promoting the consumption of eggs or ANY animal product, for that matter. What I am trying to say is that the great majority of people are NOT willing to turn vegan, so as a "compromise," it would be better for them to eat CF/FR/Organic eggs rather than factory farm eggs. Of course, not eating eggs AT ALL is most beneficial, but that won't happen.

Quote:
I believe that we have no right to steal and eat eggs from hens. It is NOT our eggs to take and eat. I think what some of you are saying is what is the ethical harm in eating eggs that have actually been "abandoned" by hens - eggs that the hens could not care less about. But how do you know that the eggs are truly abandoned? That the hens really couldnt care less what happens to them? Is it even possible to ascertain that with full certainty? I dont know if it is or isnt. But what I do believe is that animals have a right NOT to be commodified and exploited. When you start carving out exceptions for the minimum and ostensibly innocuous infringement on the rights of animals, that is in my view a slippery slope. THAT is the ethical harm in eating abandoned eggs. No, we dont want to give animals the right to vote, but they DO have rights IMO, and to not be conceptualized as food or lab subjects is one of them.

As for stealing the eggs, I wouldn't call it stealing. it's removing the eggs. What happens if the eggs aren't removed? They'd build up, turn rotten, etc. That's an issue of being sanitary. Plus, the eggs are INFERTILE!!! It's a chicken PERIOD! I don't know about you, but I sure wouldn't want to be sitting in my "monthly waste".... I'd rather it be removed. In essence, humans have tampons and chickens have people to remove the poduct of menstruation. [Sorry, this was gross]. How could a chicken be upset that someone was removing the product of her period? If it was FERTILE, then I could see your argument... but the egg isn't... it's waste. it's of no use to the chicken.



Quote:
Furthermore, would you eat a free range, compassionately reared (bla bla bla) chicken if it died of natural causes? The logic would be the same here as in the egg scenario would it not? I wouldnt eat a naturally killed, humanely and freely raised chicken anymore than I would eat my cat at the end of his happy life or another human being for that matter. Would you? What is the difference? The difference is that we may still be unsuspecting victims of residual conditioning that eggs (and possibly chickens) are food. That somewhere in a small corner of our consciousness we have yet to fully reject that notion

I would never eat any animal product. This has nothing to do with me. I am talking about the millions of people who are compassionate about animals, but could never fathom giving up their "beloved" eggs. And, killing an animal and eating it's period waste are two totally different things. In one scenario, you are taking a life. In the other, you are removing a waste product. Big difference.

Sure, using eggs could be a form of animal exploitation, but like I said before: if the hens are CF/FR/organic, treated correctly, blah blah blah, then it's more of a give-take relationship than exploitation. I'd rather the hens be wild and free, but that's not the case... so the best option for them is to live on a organic/CF/FR farm where they can get the best treatment possible.

Sorry if this grossed anyone out!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 5:07 pm 
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Stegosaurus

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Shelby wrote:

Quote:
Furthermore, would you eat a free range, compassionately reared (bla bla bla) chicken if it died of natural causes? The logic would be the same here as in the egg scenario would it not? I wouldnt eat a naturally killed, humanely and freely raised chicken anymore than I would eat my cat at the end of his happy life or another human being for that matter. Would you? What is the difference? The difference is that we may still be unsuspecting victims of residual conditioning that eggs (and possibly chickens) are food. That somewhere in a small corner of our consciousness we have yet to fully reject that notion

And, killing an animal and eating it's period waste are two totally different things. In one scenario, you are taking a life. In the other, you are removing a waste product. Big difference.


You will notice that my question was would you eat a compassionately reared chicken if it died of natural causes. I later typed "naturally killed" which probably explains the confusion. I meant a chicken that died of natural causes - not "naturally killed."

So, no, there is no relevant difference between eating a chicken that died of natural causes, or eating your cat that died of natural causes, and eating an egg that was abandoned/wasted/left behind. What is the diff? Both activities appear to be ethically benign, dont they?

It may be a give and take relationship under those circs as you describe, but it is a relationship that is imposed on a hen who has no choice in the matter. It is patronizing and human-centred relationship.

I have no idea how egg laying works in practice, and that is why I relied here on Crystal's experience working at the Farm Sanctuary. Theoretically, it is a slippery slope though.

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People reviled today for their activism will be tomorrow's angels, and people respected today for their power will be tomorrow's demons. History will absolve us and condemn them. ~ Paul Watson


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 6:39 pm 
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Quote:
You will notice that my question was would you eat a compassionately reared chicken if it died of natural causes. I later typed "naturally killed" which probably explains the confusion. I meant a chicken that died of natural causes - not "naturally killed."

So, no, there is no relevant difference between eating a chicken that died of natural causes, or eating your cat that died of natural causes, and eating an egg that was abandoned/wasted/left behind. What is the diff? Both activities appear to be ethically benign, dont they?

Eating an egg and eating a deceased animal are two TOTALLY different things. The latter was formly a living, breathing, feeling, thinking being. The former was nothing but a waste product; it would NEVER form into a being. That's like asking if I would eat a cow or drink someone's pee. You are trying to compare apples to oranges: while both are fruit, they are totally different. Sure, eggs come from chickens, but they will never be a chicken, nor does laying an egg harm to chicken. What DOES harm the chicken are the horrible conditions that are imposed on the chicken when the chicken is subjected to the cruelties of factory farms. Small, family owned organic farms do not impose such horrib conditions on their chickens. They treat them as pets, similar to as one would treat their dog. Without these farms, all chickens would live at factory farms (unless a sactuary saves them). Personally, I'd rather have the chicken live at a family owned organic farm than the factory farm, even if that means having the chicken give up her eggs.

Quote:
It may be a give and take relationship under those circs as you describe, but it is a relationship that is imposed on a hen who has no choice in the matter. It is patronizing and human-centred relationship.

Unfortunately, the whole world is run on some level of exploitation. It's almost unavoidable. However, I'd rather see the more "compassionate" and less patronizing form of "exploitation" than that seen from factory farms!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 7:32 pm 
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Stegosaurus

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see blue

Shelby wrote:
Quote:
You will notice that my question was would you eat a compassionately reared chicken if it died of natural causes. I later typed "naturally killed" which probably explains the confusion. I meant a chicken that died of natural causes - not "naturally killed."

So, no, there is no relevant difference between eating a chicken that died of natural causes, or eating your cat that died of natural causes, and eating an egg that was abandoned/wasted/left behind. What is the diff? Both activities appear to be ethically benign, dont they?

Eating an egg and eating a deceased animal are two TOTALLY different things. The latter was formly a living, breathing, feeling, thinking being. The former was nothing but a waste product; it would NEVER form into a being...

But after the animal has died of natural causes, it is not a "living breathing entity." And its death was nobody's fault. So why not indulge tastebuds then? What is the harm? It is no more ethically problematic than eating an unfertilized abandoned egg. I dont see how you can maintain a logical or relevant difference here between the two situations, and hence the slippery slope.

What DOES harm the chicken are the horrible conditions that are imposed on the chicken when the chicken is subjected to the cruelties of factory farms.

No shelbs, the root cause of the harm that animals endure is our mentality of commodification/exploitation/commercialization because it is that mentality that makes factory farms possible in the first place. Factory farming is a symptom of a much more fundamental disease. And cruelty free bla bla, just like the concept and practice of "kind, loving and responsible pet breeders", does NOTHING to expunge that mentality. IN fact, it serves to dangerously make people even more comfortable with it. It encourages complacency. It eases consciences and removes the need to fundamentally question our relationship with animals. It gives people one less reason to go veg*n.

Small, family owned organic farms do not impose such horrib conditions on their chickens. They treat them as pets, similar to as one would treat their dog.

Some of these farms also send their "pet" hens to slaughter when they are no longer useful in terms of egg laying. We already know that in most cases, free range isnt all that free, as Kathyrn said. The only situation that comes anywhere near acceptable imo is that which Will described, but even then, even that, ultimately accepts rather than rejects, animals as commodities, as items to be exploited, which is why I am uneasy about it.

Without these farms, all chickens would live at factory farms (unless a sactuary saves them). Personally, I'd rather have the chicken live at a family owned organic farm than the factory farm, even if that means having the chicken give up her eggs. See above complacency argument.

Quote:
It may be a give and take relationship under those circs as you describe, but it is a relationship that is imposed on a hen who has no choice in the matter. It is patronizing and human-centred relationship.

Unfortunately, the whole world is run on some level of exploitation. It's almost unavoidable.

And this is an argument that is frequently invoked by omnis to avoid going veg, isnt it. :wink: Should we really be confirming the validity of it as any kind of excuse for inaction or half-ass action? It is unavoidable that you are going to cause some harm sometime. That is unavoidable, yes. But it is not "unavoidable" to go vegan and thereby cause less of it. That isnt unavoidable. So instead of echoing omni sentiments, I think we as ethical vegans have a responsibility to point out that the inability to avoid all harm is no reason to try and avoid as much as possible.
However, I'd rather see the more "compassionate" and less patronizing form of "exploitation" than that seen from factory farms!


Obviously, as would most decent people on the face of the earth. But that isnt really the point though is it. The only relevant question here is how are vegans' energies more effectively spent in effecting real and lasting change for animals? Are they better spent on welfare reforms, or are they better spent on vegan outreach?

And that is the million dollar question. This is not a question that we are going to solve today. It has been debated for decades and both sides - i.e. "pure, unrelenting rights" versus "welfare for now with the ultimate goal of rights" - have meritorious and common sensical arguments. And each approach has significant drawbacks that should be fully appreciated.

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