Why do we eat chicken eggs unfertilized

Leave the chickens their eggs!

Chickens lay eggs, it's natural. Then why shouldn't we just eat them?
Laying eggs is actually in the nature of the chicken, as is any other species of bird. While it is a matter of course for many that hens lay eggs for humans so that they can eat them, when it comes to a sparrow or a blackbird, fewer people would think of plundering the nest as a matter of course and frying the eggs for breakfast.

1. Because of "natural"

The keeping of chickens already has a very long tradition and has therefore almost become a matter of course for us. Contrary to the assumption that a chicken will lay an egg every day, this is far from natural. The Bankivahuhn (Urhuhn) lays two to three times a year one to twelve eggs. A today's laying chicken "Produces" approx. 300 eggs in the year. In order to keep the laying performance as high as possible, a chicken has to endure a lot that has nothing to do with a happy chicken life or a natural egg. The constant laying of eggs is very exhausting. To one to two years If the laying performance of the hens decreases, which is why they are no longer productive and are slaughtered. The natural age of chickens is approx. 18 years.

2. Sexen or the cock must die

When fattening chickens, it is customary to sort the chicks as soon as they hatch. The females are raised as laying hens, the males are gassed or shredded. (If you want to see this for yourself, you can watch this video.) Male chicks or roosters do not lay eggs and are therefore unprofitable for the egg industry. Raising them would result in additional costs, because they are not suitable as broilers either. A specially bred type of chicken is used for this purpose, which after approx. slaughtered for four weeks becomes. Up to die from this sorting out 50 million chicks every year on the first day of their lives. A alternative The Bruderhahn initiative is part of this practice. Here the male chicks are not killed, but also raised. If these animals are said to have “animal welfare in the center”, they are still broiler chickens. Some are intended to lay eggs every day, others end up at the butcher after three months at the latest.

3. Cage, floor, free range

There are different ways of keeping chickens. They all have in common that as many chickens as possible are kept according to "species-appropriate" conditions in order to achieve the best possible egg yield rate. It is often the consumers and manufacturers who decide which husbandry is considered appropriate to the species.

Cage has been banned in Austria since 2009 and Europe-wide since 2012. In Austria, however, in many cases it was kept in “designed cages” and in Germany and the Netherlands for “small group housing”. If this sounds like a cozy get-together in small groups, it is only associated with an increase of 50 cm² per chicken in the cages (designed cage housing: 750 cm² / small group housing: 800 cm² per chicken). Here, too, as in the now forbidden cage, the animals have no opportunity to act out their own behavior, such as flapping wings and sand bathing. Even if many people think that they will never buy eggs from such animal husbandry, they do it more often than expected, because the eggs in many finished products such as biscuits, mayonnaise, pasta or ice cream are made from battery cells.
In the Free run up to 6,000 animals are locked together in one hall. If the chickens live in these unnatural conditions, behavior disorders such as cannibalism or feather pecking often occur. Sounds like a Free range, just because of the name, like happy chickens in a meadow, unfortunately it is not. Here, too, the animals live in a hall, but during the day they must have an area of ​​8 m² per animal.

4. Organic is not always better

Also, the often nicely talked organic egg is unfortunately not really the guarantee for a happy chicken life. Instead of nine, six animals share one square meter in the barn, lay their eggs on the conveyor belt and become soup chicken or cat food after a year and a half at the latest.

5. The morale of stealing eggs

Certainly it is better to raise the chickens regardless of their gender. If they can also see the sun and take a stroll across green meadows from time to time, many people find that there is nothing to oppose to eating chicken eggs. That these chickens only lay so many eggs because we literally forget to steal them. Many. The constant laying of eggs is therefore not natural and happens out of necessity created by humans. We steal their young from the hens before they are even born. Even if the eggs are unfertilized and therefore no chicks would hatch from them, this means that we are taking something away from the animal that belongs to it and thus permanently forcing it to lay further eggs. Buying eggs also means being able to live with the stressed chickens dying sooner. Either because the females are unprofitable after a year and a half, or because the males are slaughtered after a maximum of three months. It does not matter which animal husbandry it is and also not whether the brother chick is allowed to continue to live.

Alternatives to the egg

There are so many reasons to go without eggs. Not only from an ethical, but also from a health perspective, we say no to the egg. But we still don't do without our scrambled “egg”, mirrored “egg” or our Swiss roll. Living vegan does not mean having to do without something, but rather not wanting to eat something and looking for better alternatives. We have a few egg alternatives for you, whether for baking, as a powder or for the Easter egg.

You can find more information at PETA, among others.

And here you can see how vegan scrambled eggs are made:

- JL

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