Do Vegans eat eggs from backyard chickens?
This is a touchy subject
In fact, along with money and almonds it is one of the most controversial subjects in veganism. The mainstream answer to this is;
Vegans do not eat eggs from backyard chickens. No matter how well they are cared for, collecting eggs from chickens is taking something that does not belong to us and exploiting them for what they can provide us.
I’m not going to divulge my own opinion in this post, instead I’ll debate both sides of the argument.
I want to provide a space that explores both sides of the argument, and that allows people to decide for themselves if they want to eat backyard eggs.
The definition of veganism is “a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose”
So we need to decide if keeping backyard chickens for their eggs goes against this definition of veganism out of it falls outside of it.
What's your view on backyard eggs? Let me know in the comments section below but keep it respectful and remember that everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
vegans eat eggs from backyard chickens
Large scale animal farming is cruel and no one is debating that, however backyard chickens that are well cared for and properly looked after so they don’t contribute to this factory farming.
Based on the definition of veganism if backyard chickens aren’t being handled cruelly, but instead are being treated with love and care with all their needs met then they’re not being exploited.
Backyard hens will only lay unfertilised eggs that can’t become chicks.
These eggs will just go water and rot which is impractical when they could be used by humans.
This isn’t a difficult or stressful process for chickens as most chickens don’t show any distress when their eggs are taken or any interest in eating their eggs.
Yes, some chickens can eat their eggs but most don’t show any interest in them unless they have cracked.
Ultimately backyard chickens have a symbiotic relationship with humans, this means that it is a relationship that is mutually beneficial.
The chicken gets warmth, shelter, food, water and protection. In return humans get their eggs.
vegans don't eat eggs from backyard chickens
Earthling Ed is perhaps one of the most (if not the most) famous vegan activists of today.
He says that veganism is about “redefining our relationship with other animals, and acknowledging that their right to life is not predicated on what we can take from them”
To start with most backyard chickens are from hatcheries.
These are breeders who dispose of the male chicks in a similar way to factory farms and is aging to the exploitation and cruel practices that takes place there.
Having said this, rescuing hens from factor farms is the right thing to do but if you’re doing it with the purpose of gathering the hens eggs then you’re doing it for the wrong reasons and it is exploiting the chicken.
We buy a dog or cat for the pure reason of love and this should be the same for any animal we choose to have as a pet.
It shouldn’t be a relationship that exploits the animal by being them as a consumable rather than an animal.
Although the care is unlikely to be on the same level as chickens in factory farms face, are backyard chickens really cared for properly?
It’s has become a bit of a trend to own some backyard chickens and most owners do not know how to properly care for these animals, especially one that will have many health problems due to being forced to lay too many eggs.
On this point the chicken industry has bred hens to lay an unnatural amount of eggs compared to a chicken that hasnt been modified.
In fact, factory farmed chickens have been selectively bred to lay a whopping 300 plus eggs a year compared to the 10-15 eggs every year a natural chicken will lay.
This overbreeding has caused havoc on the health and well-being of chickens.
When they lay their eggs it takes a lot of nutrients from them, including calcium.
This causes healthy issues such as osteoporosis and infections.
Quite often the chickens eat their unfertilised eggs to get these nutrients back into their bodies, making them healthier.
If chickens aren’t showing interest in the egg then you can try cracking it our scrambling it to feed back to them.
A hen can’t offer us her eggs and we can’t ask if we can take them so ultimately an egg isn’t ours and was not made for us meaninge we have no right to take it.
Eggs are seen as consumables and our relationship with a chicken is seen as reciprotive rather than a loving one that we see between a human and a cat or dog.
This means that the chicken is being exploited and eggs from backyard chickens cannot be vegan.
There are many arguments to this and everyone will have a different opinion on the subject.
Some will feel very strongly that it’s not okay, some will have no problem with backyard eggs, while others may not see it as an issue but would rather not eat eggs themselves.
I guess the real question is why do we need eggs when there are so many egg replacements these days?
Don’t forget to let me know your view on backyard eggs? Let me know in the comments section below but keep it respectful and remember that everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
If you want to come back to this post later then save to Pinterest by clicking the pin image below.
Resources used in this post
The Minimalist Vegan: Is It Okay for Vegans to Eat Eggs From Backyard Chickens?
Bite Size Vegan: Can Vegans Eat Eggs From Backyard Chickens? VEGGANS?!
Earthling Ed: Why Don’t Vegans Eat Eggs From Backyard Chickens?