Sunday, July 12, 2015

Is it ethical to eat your backyard chickens' eggs?

Is it ethical to eat the eggs of your backyard chickens? A topic that can get quite controversial. What is your experience/ stance on it?
I thought I'd share my take on it here:

My friend, who has a few rescue hens at home, feeds the eggs back to them and they love it. Especially when you boil them first. It gives them back some much needed minerals that they lose as a result of being bred to lay a much higher amount of eggs than they would in nature. In nature they would lay about 12 to 14 eggs once a year, but commercial hens are bred to lay around 300 a year. Some people worry about where the hens come from, as if they buy them from breeders, they financially support the killings of 50% of all chicks that are born and happen to be male, as they are useless because they can't lay eggs.
Some people get rescue hens and eat, sell or feed the eggs back to the hens. If you have a hen as a pet, do you see her as a commodity who produces eggs or as a fellow earthling deserving to live as much as every other being?
Vegans believe that the animals are not here for us and their products are not ours to take,  so they would ask the question what these hen pet owners have planned for the hens once they stop producing eggs?
Unfortunately, a lot of the time they will not let them live out their lives for another 5 to 8 years and pay for their feed without getting some eggs in return. So they'll kill them or give them to someone who does.
Some rescue sanctuaries feed some eggs to the hens and sell the left over ones and use that money to buy chicken feed. And of course the hens will be able to live out their full lives there.
Another aspect is health. The USDA itself forbids egg producers to label eggs as "safe", "healthy" or "nutritious". They may, however, label them "fresh" or "farm fresh". Very confusing. They are full of cholesterol and saturated fats and come with the risk of salmonella.
I found this article to be very interesting:

And this video:

along with this one:

Vegans simply do not want to use any animal for their own gain by compromising the freedom and bodily integrity of the animal. Is this is the case with using the eggs of a hen? It might depend on the overall situation.
I find it easy to not use eggs, so I don't.