Vegan 101: Eggs

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Continuing on with my Vegan 101 series, my beginners guide to veganism. This time I’m looking at Eggs so let’s begin with some FAQs.

What’s wrong with eggs? The facts

  • Living Conditions at egg factory farms are terrible. Caged hens are kept in cramped conditions with wire mesh floors. What’s more,their beaks are cut off so as not to peck each other from frustration.
  • Male chicks are killed. Because male chicks are no use to the egg industry, they are either ground up alive or suffocated. And yes, this happens on Free Range and Organic farms too.
  • They’re not healthy Despite being heavily marketed as a health food (raw egg smoothie anyone?), eggs actually have zero dietary fiber, and about 70 percent of their calories are from fat—a big portion of which is saturated. They are also loaded with cholesterol (eggs have 3 times more cholesterol than a steak).
  • Chickens have been genetically modified to produce 300 eggs per year instead of their normal 17. How can this be good for the chickens?
  • The life span of chickens naturally is 10-15 years. In the egg industry, it is just 2 years.

chicks-349035_960_720

But what about Free Range or Organic?

Free Range means that hens must have outside space. However, there are no rules to say how often the chickens go outside. And in truth, many never do.

Organic hens have less crowded living conditions indoors and debeaking is forbidden but unfortunately, feather pecking is still a problem (when one bird repeatedly pecks at the feathers of another).

What if the eggs come from my own pet chickens?

This is rare that this scenario actually exists but apart from the fact that these eggs are not ours to take, they are not healthy either (as explained above). Not to mention the fact that eggs really are an equivalent to a chicken’s period. Gross.

What are the Alternatives?

The wonderful news is that there are tons of alternatives to eating eggs. On toast and as part of a Full English (vegan) breakfast, why not try Tofu scramble. Follow Your Heart even has a Veganegg product that is pretty darn similar.

For baking, you can use an egg replacer http://www.orgran.com/products/174/, flaxseed, apple sauce, cornstarch, vegetable oils, tofu, apple cider vinegar…the list goes on.

 

32125_1For more information: http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/scary-egg-facts/ and http://freefromharm.org/eggfacts/

For studies into the health of eggs, see here: World Health Organization and here National Institutes of Health s International Urology and Nephrology.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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