Male privilege doesn’t exist in the world of factory farmed chickens. If you’re a boy and you’re a chicken in that system, you are, unfortunately, shit out of luck.
The egg industry would have you believe that the immaculate little ovum in the sterilized styrofoam carton in your fridge came from a happy hen on an idyllic farm setting. They paint a pretty picture with their multi-millionaire dollar ad campaigns to indoctrinate humankind into thinking that labels like grass-fed and cage free means something good. That the chickens producing these eggs get to run around outside and have a nice life, that the eggs are an innocent by-product of raising hens and we, by eating them, aren’t doing anything wrong.
Eggs are marketed as ultra healthy, convenient & multi-purpose
I’m calling bullshit on this.
Have you ever seen an industrial poultry farm? Maybe you drove by one on the highway? I promise you, there are no happy animals in there. Those enormous grey buildings lined up one after the other with no windows, like a factory or a prison, are home to on average 22 734 hens (in Canada). Some farms may only have a couple hundred hens, but larger facilities have 400 000 or more.
Inside these farms are thousands and thousands of cages. The cages are 18 by 24 inches and hens spend their entire life in the cage. The average wingspan of a chicken is 36 inches. 1 hen per cage for her whole would clearly suck! In reality, egg farmers realized that they could stuff more chickens in the cages to up profits and it is now common practice to house 10 or so chickens in 1 cage. Yes you read that correctly.
Overcrowded birds rub off their feathers on the cages, as there is simply not enough space. The feathers are the main source of defense on a birds body to protect against harm and disease; once the feathers are gone infections spread quickly.
Peritonitis, which is caused when an egg is fertilized in the tube instead of the ovary, is common and largely left untreated. Gases such as ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, methane and carbon dioxide from the bird urine and feces permeate the air around the trapped birds, causing respiratory problems and blindness. These sick chickens sometimes die and are often left to rot. Given the immense size of the flocks, it is impossible for all dead hens to be cleaned up, thus many carcasses are left to thoroughly decompose in the same cage as hens still laying eggs which are later sold for human consumption.
You get the idea yes? Surely a scramble made of soft tofu is a better way to have breakfast! Easy vegan swaps for baking with eggs include : applesauce, chia seeds or flax seeds (soaked in a bit of water to make a jelly), one tsp each of baking soda and vinegar (for fluffiness!) bananas, and aquafaba (this is the liquid in canned chickpeas, and replaces egg whites). There are plenty of ‘vegan eggs’ on the market and as time goes on they are only getting tastier and more widely available. Silken or soft tofu works for scrambles as mentioned above.
I hope you are curious enough to try some of these delicious and cruelty free alternatives in the future, and if you do, please let me know in the comments! Thank you for reading. 🙂