The Truth Behind The Cute Chick Pics

chick from Flickr via Wylio
© 2009 frannie60, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

 

Apologies for the title – I figured it would make for good SEO. Though I guess it may not exactly attract quality traffic!

As I’m sure you’re aware, social media, blog posts and real life are rife right now with images of cute, yellow, fluffy chicks. A symbol of Easter, spring, and new life, you cannot go through March and April without seeing them somewhere. We ‘awwww’ at them and fantasise about having the chick in front of us for real so we can pet it. Of course we find them adorable as all hell. Who doesn’t?

Try the egg industry.

Quite apart from the wretched life that egg-laying hens have; to the people who produce your morning boiled eggs, baby male chicks are just a by-product. As they will never be egg-layers, it is not profitable to keep them, and they are not good for meat. So what happens to them? Usually one of three things. They are either gassed to death; put into a meat grinder alive; or they are put in a dumpster, all on top of each other so they suffocate.

(This vid isn’t too graphic, but of course it’s not pleasant)

This happens if the eggs are battery, free-range, cage-free and even organic.

Worldwide, billions of male chicks are killed each year in this manner.

Happy Easter from Flickr via Wylio
© 2007 The 5th Ape, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Look, I don’t want to point fingers here, or poop all over Easter. Most people don’t know aboutthis – it’s not exactly advertised, so I am not judging those who eat eggs, and not calling anyone out as a hypocrite. My goal here is to reveal the bigger picture to those of us who haven’t seen it, so we can make more informed choices.

Doesn’t is seem nonsensical that we pay (through the money we spend when we buy eggs) for the needless slaughter of billions of chicks every year; yet at Easter we love looking at pictures of them, or even buying fluffy toy chicks for our Easter tables?

Happy Easter in 66 Different Languages - EXPLORE from Flickr via Wylio
© 2013 Karen Roe, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Also, would we let this happen to kittens or puppies?

Of course as a vegan, I think all animal slaughter is unnecessary. But even though I am used to reading about the cruelty inflicted on ‘food’ animals, and even though I’ve seen my fair share of slaughterhouse footage, the sheer volume of life killed as a waste product in the egg industry has me reeling.

And the mental image of someone gushing over a baby chick pic on Twitter this week, while eating their breakfast boiled egg or omelette, makes me crazy. Not because this person is being hypocritical – you can only be hypocritical if you KNOW the fate of baby male chicks and go ahead and gush at the photo anyway. It makes me crazy because this mass slaughter is just not widely known, and therefore the irony is not realized by many.

Isn’t it better to make a choice whether to eat a product or not based on all the information?

Of course we should enjoy any photos of baby chicks that come across our paths in the days to come; it’s a fun and beautiful time of year. But let’s just have no illusions about the destiny that many of them face.

 

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Why Are We Weirdly Selective About The Orifices That Produce Our Foods?

Quick note: Guys! Follow me on Periscope right here: 

https://www.periscope.tv/KarenCottenden

You: What in the Sam Hill is Periscope?

Me: It’s a new(ish) live streaming app, linked to twitter. It’s fab because it’s interactive. You can comment and ask questions while I’m streaming, and I can answer you!  I have a few ‘scopes’ under my belt now and THINK I’m getting a bit better, but YOU can be the judge of that.

It’s VERY easy to install and use. If an utter tech dope like me can get how it works – anyone can!

I talk about all things vegan and plant-based; make recipes, and sometimes do food shopping trips.

If you DO catch one of my ‘scopes’ and get any value from what I’m saying/doing – be sure to tap on your screen and give me lots of hearts (you’ll see how to do it when you start watching)!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mixed Eggs from Flickr via Wylio
© 2011 soapydishwater, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Well this post will make you laugh if nothing else.

It might even larn you somethin’ – I definitely ‘larned’ something new as you will see!

Now even non-vegan readers must know by now that cow’s milk comes from a cow’s boob-equivalent – their udders; and that milk is food for cow’s babies, just as breast milk is food for human babies.

But I’m absolutely NOT judging you if you didn’t know that. It’s hardly something that milk adverts shout about, for obvious reasons.

And none of us would dream of breast-feeding from our mothers – or even from any other female human past infancy right? Yet this is what milk drinkers and dairy consumers (as all dairy is made of milk) are effectively doing, but it’s even weirder! They’re doing it FROM A DIFFERENT SPECIES.

And I found out something else last week.

Now I’m rather partial to saying that eggs are chicken’s periods (in an appropriate forum of course, not at a dinner table when someone is tucking into an egg – though it’s tempting 🙂 )

The eggs are unfertilised, so a period is technically what they ARE.

But did you know this?

(Maybe many of you did and I’m just ignorant)

A friend was telling me about a discussion she had with her partner. HE was saying that a chicken had but one…um…lower orifice; and she argued that this must be wrong, and that they MUST have two.

I agreed with her. They must have at least two I thought (I actually thought they must have three; one each for peeing and pooping of course; and one for the eggs to exit the body).

Later; to see who was right, I decided to get better informed about chickens’ unmentionables, and consulted the internet on this topic.

It turns out my friend’s partner was right. Chickens DO have but one, um, unmentionable (could I GET any more British?)

Did you know this?

I DIDN’T EITHER!!!!

This means that not only is an egg a chicken’s period, but also that it is pooping the eggs out of its butt (there, I said it).

As chickens (like all birds) don’t pee, the liquid waste mixes in with the solid waste and exits this one orifice as poop. So it really IS a butt.

I feel bad talking about chickens in a disrespectful way, but my intention is to make people think twice about eating eggs – so hopefully they’ll forgive me.

Why weren’t we taught this??? I’ve been on the planet X amount of years (now that really IS unmentionable) and I had NO IDEA that eggs came from a chicken’s butt.

Now chicken experts out there may point out that the poop and the eggs go down different tubes INSIDE the chicken’s body, and only exit from the same orifice, but still. Eggs still come out of their butt.

Just as sometimes those of us that are vegan, in order to get non-vegans to think about where milk comes from, ask them whether they’d be comfortable breast-feeding from a human female as an adult; this egg/chicken issue has similarly made me wonder:

Would we eat anything that exited from a human butt?

So why is a chicken’s butt OK as a food conduit?

Would we eat a menstrual deposit from any other animal?

Why then are we happy to eat a chicken’s?

Why were we not taught precisely where eggs come from and what they are – and in whose interest was it that we were not taught this?

Why are we not encouraged to ask questions about this?

It seems we have been conditioned to just accept milk and eggs as a healthy food source and not question a darn thing about whether they are indeed healthy, or where they came from, or why we don’t drink milk from any other animals (except perhaps goats) or eat eggs from many other birds.

This is why milk isn’t healthy.

This is why eggs aren’t healthy.

The reason why its cow’s milk (rather than milk from any other mammal) that has been pushed on to you since birth is that cow’s milk is the most profitable.

The reason why it’s eggs from chickens (rather than eggs from any other bird) that you’ve been made to believe are good for you since forever is that chicken’s eggs are the most profitable.

NO.OTHER.REASON.

In the interest of profit and profit only (as public health has NOTHING to do with it), our consumption of cow’s milk and chicken’s eggs has been SO normalised and legitimised by a multitude of societal elements that we receive both consciously and sub-consciously; that we DON’T tend to question anything.

It’s funny how many people identify as ‘germophobes’; they buy anti-microbial hand sanitisers galore and fuss and fret about bacteria – yet they’re happy to drink secretions from a different species, or eat something that exited the behind of another species, just because they consider that to be ‘normal.’

 

Next time I want a little fun with a non-vegan (and I know them to have a good sense of humour), I’ll tease them about their ‘butt-food.’

I learned a little something last week, but to be honest I was shocked I didn’t know this already.

Did YOU know?

 

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What’s Wrong With Eggs? They Are Good For You And Chickens Don’t Need Them!

egg

A couple of years ago, somewhere in the southern states of America, (it could have been Chattanooga) I got talking to a lady who owned a second hand book and bric-a-brac store. We had a perfectly lovely conversation until she asked me what I was writing about (I’d mentioned I was writing a book). When I told her it was about how a standard diet negatively impacts our health, the environment and animals, and how a vegan diet was the antidote to this, she got very animated.

She got the most worked up about eggs, saying she didn’t understand how I didn’t eat them, telling me how they were the most healthy food you could eat, and she went as far as to say that eggs are ‘God’s own protein,’ whatever the feckin’ heck that meant.

Firstly, she was most decidedly not the best advertisement for her health claims regarding eggs. I don’t want to snark (ok I do, but I shan’t), let’s just say she was very evidently NOT healthy.

Secondly, I haven’t eaten eggs for 23 years, and I am still here and thriving – not a shrivelled pile of protein-deprived fatigue, convulsing on the floor. I do not believe I am missing the so-called protein of God.

I didn’t want to continue the conversation, so I just wrapped it up politely and left. I intuited that she would not have been open to receiving any actual facts on eggs, as invested as she clearly was in what were probably lifelong, myth-based beliefs, so I let it go. Although I believe in advocating when possible, it’s also important to know when to conserve your energy for better opportunities!

In case YOU have questions about eggs, or in case you get asked questions by curious friends – who you feel may be more receptive to facts than my book-store lady; here are some of the common egg myths dispelled.

 

Eggs are good for you

Uh-uh.

Yes, eggs do contain protein. But they are also very high in cholesterol, and like all animal products, they contain destructive saturated fat.  Just consider this for a hot second: Eggs have inside them the wherewithal to grow ONE cell into a baby chick in a relatively short space of time. They actually contain the most concentrated form of protein (second only to animal brains). This is excessive for humans – ‘too much of a good thing,’ if you will. We have been led to believe that the more protein the better, and some people eat egg whites believing them to be the healthiest and most protein-filled part of the egg, but this is just not a balanced form of protein for humans to be ingesting.

Because of this, consumption of eggs is very closely linked to cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

You do not need eggs for health. You can meet ALL your protein needs with plants.

 

How is the egg industry cruel? The chickens aren’t killed or anything…

Ok, so I don’t need to go into why battery hen farming is cruel – that’s obvious.

Cage-free, free-range and organic are just great labels to make you feel you are doing something good for the hens when you buy eggs. BUT, in terms of hen suffering, they mean nothing. And all across the board, baby male chicks are gassed, ground alive or suffocated, being of no profit to the egg industry.

All that farmers need in order to classify their eggs as free range, is a tiny ‘door’ hole in a barn, so they can say that chickens have access to fresh air. These barns are normally crammed with so many thousands of hens, and hens are hierarchical, so only a very few will see the fresh air. Most will live in very cramped conditions, walking around (as much as they can walk) in their own pee and poop. Many grow deformed or die and aren’t discovered for ages. They are also debeaked without anaesthetic, just like battery hens.

 

What if I have chickens in my back garden and I treat them well? Surely it’s ok to take their eggs?

This article very nicely explains the ethical stance regarding backyard chickens that are kept for eggs.

Also, the reason hens KEEP laying eggs is because their eggs KEEP getting taken away. They would only normally lay enough to fill their nest.

Laying so many eggs takes up a lot of energy, and so lots of chickens eat their own eggs to replenish the nutrients they’ve lost in this effort. Lots of backyard hens are rescues from the egg industry, so they will often do this, as they are attempting to restore a lifetimes worth of nutrient loss.

If you’re wondering whether you can eat the eggs that backyard hens don’t eat that might otherwise go to waste? Weeell, you could…but first, reread about the health dangers of eating eggs!

 

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