I was discussing our grocery shopping the other day with Melanie (my wife). She always buys Free Range Eggs, and I applauded her sense of social responsibility….(let’s not delve into the fact that she does the grocery shopping… this is not about assigning gender roles but shared responsibilities….I pay for the lawns to be mowed, so she does the shopping….Calm down I am just messing you). I challenged Melanie as to her concept of ‘Free Range Eggs’. The description she gave me was equal to the picture below.
I suggest the above picture is the image that most people have when they happily pay extra for eggs that are laid by hens that are freely roaming the grasslands of ‘Free Range Egg’ farms all over Australia.
However, the reality is so much uglier. Here are some images from real ‘Free Range’ egg farms…..Note the term ‘free range’ is in the commercial world of egg producing, a technicality.
In an article from the Human Decisions website title The Myth About Cage-Free Eggs, the following characteristics were noted about apparent ‘free range’ eggs. Click here to read the original article.
- Extremely crowded, stressful conditions inside dark buildings with no natural light.
- Hens constantly breathe in their own waste fumes and gases including ammonia and hydrogen sulphide; they never breathe fresh, clean air.
- Hens are forcibly de-beaked – where their beaks are cut off and removed due to the constant stress they’re under in over-crowded conditions; their beaks never grow back and the wound from being de-beaked can cause pain their entire lives and suffering while eating.
- Hens are forced into over-crowded conditions where hundreds of hens are packed in small spaces and often trample each other, live in their own faeces and waste, in very unsanitary conditions.
- Hens cannot walk, spread their wings, turn around, or enjoy any natural physical behaviours inherent to chickens; they can never walk or run outside or be mobile as is natural for them.
- Hens on cage-free farms do not roam around barns and yards outside, like the advertising falsely suggests.
- Hatcheries kill all male chicks when they’re born since they cannot use them for egg-laying. Millions and millions of male chicks are immediately crushed or gassed upon hatching, using suffocation and or machines that grind them up and use them as animal feed or fertilizer.
- Hens are forced to mate, and are forcibly impregnated continually, until their bodies are so exhausted and depleted from egg-laying that they get sick, become arthritic, get reproductive cancers, and develop growths and reproductive tumors. They suffer and endure enormous pain and then are killed when they can no longer produce eggs—usually at one-year old (1/15th their normal lifespan).
- After a hen’s production starts to decline because they are physically worn out and their bodies depleted—they are slaughtered.
My motive in blogging about this is that I think the Australian grocery buying public have been hoodwinked by the clever marketing campaign of the free range egg producers who now financially rape the gullible public who genuinely think they are being socially responsible by paying extra for ‘free range eggs’.
When I was growing up, I hung around Battery Hen egg farms and whilst I get the concerns of people who say that is inhuman….which I agree with in part, the battery hen farms I saw were clean, the birds were not living in their own filth, there was no cannibalism and the eggs farmers had a genuine concern for the health of the birds. Whether Battery Hens or apparent ‘Free Range’ hens, I certainly have some concerns about the treatment of the Chickens who produce our eggs. However a significant concern I have is the lie that has been perpetrated on the Australian egg buy public.
I for one would never pay extra for ‘free range eggs’.
If you feel the same, share this blog and let’s exposed the ‘free range’ egg market…..Stop paying extra for eggs that have been produced in horrendous circumstances.
Anyway, That’s what I think.
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