Ok I know before anyone jumps down my throat that when someone or a corporation says something is free range that doesn't mean anything , I've looked into free range and cage free and I know its not regulated and animals can still be subject to the horrible treatment that factory famed animals are. But lets say, theoretically you know someone who raises chickens, or you go to a co-op or a farmers market and you know that they only have a few chickens and you personally know they are treated well. Would it morally and ethically be wrong to eat the eggs?
Oh I know they aren't all that healthy. But I know they are known for their cholesterol content, which actually, strangely enough I am looking to add more into my diet, as my last bloodwork, my doctor said my cholesterol levels were on the low end. I'm not considering eating eggs at every meal or anything like that, but I believe in supporting local buisnesses and especially supporting someone who believes in not harming animals. If I found someone who I knew raised chickens humanely and didn't intend on using them for food, I'd be all for supporting that.
I guess that depends on your reasoning for eating vegan to begin with. If you are doing it soely to save the animals then I would see no harm in it, heck if anythings buy yourself a hen and have free eggs :)
However I feel if you are doing it for your health and living style I would avoid putting any animal products in your body. The same could be said for milk, it just seems like we were not meant to ingest certain things.
But ethically I think you are being responsible and are not being unethical.
I see no wrong in it. I have friends with the happiest, healthiest free roaming chickens and their eggs are amazing. As far as health goes, I don't think anyone could say the occasional virtually organic egg is bad for you. Factory farm eggs are not good, from unhealthy, stressed out, pumped full of God knows what hens..........but happy hens? I see absolutely no problem, great source of protein......
I'm very sensitive to eggs, so I choose to not eat them. But my fiance's grandmother rescues a chicken a month from the live butcher in her town where they sell live chickens to families. She has about 20 now that she takes care of on her land. She has had a nice coop built for them, they have TONS of space to roam about and are very spunky. I always spend lots of time playing with them whenever we visit. All of her chickens though are hens, and so none of the eggs get fertilized. The thing is, if she doesnt' go out there and pick up the eggs that are literally lying around in the dirt, not nested, the chickens themselves will eat them! She always has her fresh eggs, and yes, she does eat the hens eventually, but not until they are old and have had a very good life. I still don't know how I feel about her eating the chickens, even if they are at the end of their life, but I see no wrong in her having the eggs. They are literally wasted if she doesn't, and if she doesn't pick them up and there are eggs all around their space, it attracts predators that could harm the hens, so it's better to have the eggs out of the coop.
I do not eat eggs, but my boyfriend does. So when we go to buy him eggs we go to a local farm where we have seen where the chickens live and the conditions. It was important for me to see where the chickens lived, and the family was nice and took me to see them. They had a ton of space both inside thier coop and outside with clean conditions. They are more expensive compared to supermarket prices, but they last a long time because we get them within two days of when they were laid.
I personally wouldn't want to eat eggs, but if I did, I would get them directly from the person who takes care of the chickens. For example, I have a neighbor who keeps several female chickens in her back yard. They are happy, healthy, and no eggs get fertilized. Those eggs would be okay in my book. But eggs from a store, no matter how many free range or humanely raised labels, would not be okay. An exception might be eggs from a local food coop that has good information about the conditions the chicken lives in; in addition, many small, local farms have events where the general public can visit the farm.
If you absolutely must eat eggs, try to find someone who takes care of chickens on a small scale... Or get your own chickens! If you have the space, they are great animals who can help with pest control (bugs, etc) and provide fertilizer if you have a garden (I view chickens as companion/pet animals, and anything they may do for you is just a side benefit, not a reason to keep them). A recent study came out that showed that chickens feel empathy, so that makes finding eggs from happy, healthy chickens even more important.
Hi Bunny! I've given the question some thought and did a bit of research with interesting results. I agree that there doesn't seem to be anything inherently harmful about eating eggs, provided the chickens are well cared for as in Dani's situation. But I've found that it can be pretty hard to find such good scenarios.
When I was first considering eating eggs, I went to my local farmer's market, which is generally great -- huge, tons of different local farmers, very well-attended. I decided to look at the free-range egg offerings and spoke to the two main providers. Both assured me that the chickens led idyllic lives midst huge green pastures. However, when I asked how long the chickens were kept for, the first person told me they were kept for only a year -- after which the 100 chickens were 'put on craigslist.' (No joke.) The second person said they had 400 chickens who were kept for 2 years, after which they became 'stew meat.' Moral of the story being that even if the situation seems like it would be good, it often bears further investigation.
For what it's worth, what I ultimately decided was that at this point in my life, it's easier to be 'cold turkey' vegan - although I am optimistic that at some point in my life I will know someone that has a few happy chickens and get to enjoy scrambled eggs again. Although this may make me somewhat of an outlier amongst vegans, I like the idea of symbiotic relationships, such as those between happy chickens (who get good lives) and their caretakers (who get eggs).
I too am eating eggs in order to assist in raising my dangerously low cholesterol level. I only eat them at home and avoid them as ingredients in processed foods. I get them from a local, ethical, organic farm and am happy with it for now. I hope to give them up one day though!