The next time you eat an egg, you may care to spare a thought for the hen which laid it—and what you can do to make her life and your own a bit better.
At this very moment, throughout the U.S. and Canada, more than 300 million hens are living lives of intense pain and suffering as they labor to produce one of our most basic food staples — eggs.
Some 95 percent of egg-laying hens in this part of North America live their entire lives in small cages that they share with five or six other birds, in rows and stacks that fill dark warehouses. These chickens —intelligent, social animals—cannot spread their wings or even turn around. Their bones become brittle and they are bruised, battered and some cannot even stand.
The practice is banned in many countries, and it’s not only bad for the hens, it’s also bad for the people who eat the eggs. “The extraordinary levels of stress the hens experience, along with their deplorable living conditions, suppress their immune systems and make them highly vulnerable to infections and bacteria, including Salmonella,” points out Executive Director, World Society for the Protection of Animals US (WSPA)—one of the world’s leading animal welfare organizations.
Fortunately, there is another way. Hens don’t need to be kept in cages to produce lots of eggs. Cage-free farming provides significantly improved living conditions for hens and a safer, more wholesome product for consumers.
What You Can Do
1. Whenever you buy eggs you can choose the cage-free kind—they’re available at most grocery stores.
2. Encourage others to do so too, supporting the farmers who do things right.
3. Ask your favorite restaurants if they use cage-free eggs in their kitchens.
4. Look for labels that say cage-free, free range or certified organic.
You can visit www.choosecagefree.org to get more information on how you can join the flock.
*Article and image courtesy of NAPS.*