Chicken eggs

Alex hegyi

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Good afternoon all

Been a vegan a year now and today i had a thought id like some thoughts on from some more knowledgeable vegans

In a land before thanos and way before i was vegan i was looking after my uncles house who had pet chickens (very well looked after) still not free birds i know :(
And i relaised this chicken was laying eggs without a rooster!

My question is if i hyperthetically had the sanctuary size land and i had just chickens and they where all laying eggs free will and just leaving them around as there not fertalized they just leave them

And i was to eat them would that be vegan?

Im not going to be doing this as i deffinately do not have the land but i was just thinking the chickens are free and cared for and they are not forced pregnant and there is no chance of a chick so no death involved

Like i say its a thought, just thought id ask and share :)

Happy living all :)
 

Lou

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I'm not sure if backyard chicken eggs are a gray area in the vegan world. There does seem to be a lot of conversation and questions about it.
We had at least one thread devoted to it.


This article and video (you don't have to do both - just one or the other), is, IMHO the first and last word on backyard chickens.

 

chickendminus

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A question I have, which is somewhat related to this is: if you can't sell animal products, (in the ethical sense), why would anyone own any farm animals? Obviously there are things like animal sanctuaries and what not, but would people really just have chickens or cows as pets in their backyards? Is there an ethical way to 'profit' off of animals? What is okay to sell? Is it okay to sell cow pies for landscaping purposes?
I would like to own farm animals someday, and am curious about this. I wouldn't really want to milk a cow to tell you the truth, but I don't think I'd have much of a problem selling my chicken's eggs.

@Lou I am especially curious to hear your thoughts.
 

Lou

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Ok, You know I used to like ethical discussions.

I think you may have illustrated part of why backyard chicken eggs are a bit of grey area.
the whole vegan ethic revolves around exploitation. The existential question is: are the animals being exploited?
Mostly this has a simple answer. but not always.

Do you want a gray area? Companion animals. Working dogs and horses.

IMHO, backyard chicken eggs it isn't a grey area. I know this IS NOT a fair comparison but I'm going to make it anyway. if you had a couple of dogs on your farm and they had a bunch of puppies, would you even consider (for even a second) converting the puppies into something useful: like gloves or fur collars.

I'm sure it is ethical for an animal sanctuary to sell cow pies or chicken poop. And i don't think the cows and chickens will mind at all. But that does bring up some other questions. (I just thought of).

What if you had an animal sanctuary with some rescued sheep. The kind that has been domesticated to the point that they require shearing (that's not just a myth - I think)

or how bout if, at your animal sanctuary, one of your animals died. Wouldn't it be ok to sell the carcass to a glue factory? (do they still have those?)

And if you were sure it wasn't harming the chickens, you could maybe once in while have scrambled eggs for breakfast?

Anyway, these are interesting questions. but I wouldn't go as far as calling them gray areas. They are more like margins, corners, and cracks. Easy to neglect during regular house cleaning but it probably needs to be poked into, explored, and have a look-see every once in a while.

Also even tho we are all vegans here, I think we all know that vegan ethics is not the whole universe. We have brought up Utilitarian Ethics before. Sometimes what produces the most good is not so good for the chickens.
 

SapphireLightning

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My largest concern about backyard "rescue chickens" is that there is basically now a market for it. There is no demand for backyard roosters at the same level, so those rescued hens still came at the cost of their dead brothers.
Besides that, hens often eat their own eggs. What I just don't understand is this intense desire for people to eat an ovum that comes out of the sewer pipe of a bird, a desire that is so strong that apparently people will try to bend reality* to make it "ethical" and "all natural" (* weasel words like "rescue" or "humane" etc).
And as has been stated above, eggs are not healthy for humans, 1 egg is almost the maximum amount of dietary cholesterol that is recommended, not to mention the saturated fat. In the US, it is illegal for someone who sells eggs to claim they are healthy.
No offense is intended, just that this all smacks of bending over backwards for something that isn't really ethical, isn't at all needed, and seems to be only for the purpose of satisfying some strange pica-esque compulsion. The expression "Seems like an awful lot of work to avoid eating a veggie burger" (in reference to lab grown meats/ animals bred to not be born with brains etc) keeps popping to mind.
 

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in the US, it is illegal for someone who sells eggs to claim they are healthy.

Good stuff. but just a little nitpicking. (Sorry I can't help myself - but it's better than I do it (with love) than some darn egg eater does it with malice.

It is NOT illegal for an egg producer to claim their eggs are healthy (in fact they do it all the time). However, the American Egg Board, a promotional marketing board appointed by the U.S. government, will not subsidize an ad campaign that uses the word healthy. Or any of the following words: nutritious, low fat, part of a balanced diet, low calorie, healthful, healthy, good for you, or even safe.

- https://mercyforanimals.org/heres-why-the-usda-refuses-to-label-eggs
 
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SapphireLightning

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Good stuff. but just a little nitpicking. (Sorry I can't help myself - but it's better than I do it (with love) than some darn egg eater does it with malice.

It is NOT illegal for an egg producer to claim their eggs are healthy (in fact they do it all the time). However, the American Egg Board, a promotional marketing board appointed by the U.S. government, will not subsidize an ad campaign that uses the word healthy. Or any of the following words: nutritious, low fat, part of a balanced diet, low calorie, healthful, healthy, good for you, or even safe.

- https://mercyforanimals.org/heres-why-the-usda-refuses-to-label-eggs


Ah right, I forgot the specifics there. In a way, it is even more damning the way you presented it than if it was actually illegal. The fact they can't even subsidize the word "safe" in such promotions is actually scary*... o_O

(*As in, how does this not scare anyone when it comes to eggs when the American Egg Board refuses to use that word...)
 

SaveTheIce

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It'd be more ethical than eating eggs from a store but it's still not a good idea and it's not vegan. A vegan by definition is someone who eats no animal products. As you know, eggs are animal product.

Laying eggs is part of a chicken's natural life purpose. I don't think it's fair for us to intervene and take them even if they're not fertilized. Being vegan is a lifestyle and you should always stay true to it. Even when situations like this that appear to be 'grey areas' occur.

A good motto is "Animals are here with us not for us" it is not our right to use them as servants. Not for entertainment, not for clothes, not for food.

Like someone else has already said, eating animal product is not healthy anyway. Study after study shows that a vegan diet is the most healthy way to live.
 

SapphireLightning

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Ok, maybe off topic.... but
if you really wanted to have backyard chickens why not adopt a rooster?

I love this video. If you get bored, skip ahead to 3:30


Hmm. If roosters produced butt-ova then they might be more "adoptable"... ?
 
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Alex hegyi

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Love all these replies!! And could not agree more with all these!

The biggest thing i love about this thread is and this forum is that ive raised a question that is simple with a few different answers depending on what your beleifs are as a vegan and there has been no hostility!

That is one of the best set of responses ive ever seen! If this was reddit there would have been so much hate going round

Really love these answers and i must say i did not realise eggs where not "safe" had to research after that comment so again thanks all!

Man i fricken love being vegan!
 
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Emma JC

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Laying eggs is part of a chicken's natural life purpose.

I am not quite sure where this thought is coming from... it is not a chicken's life purpose any more than it is any animal's life purpose. Lots of animals lay eggs. It is part of procreation, yes, not for our consumption, as you point out.

It does just show us how brainwashed we have become to accept a statement like that as somewhat factual.

(not dissing SaveTheIce just the sentence)

Emma JC
 
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Lou

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I am not quite sure where this thought is coming from... it is not a chicken's life purpose any more than it is any animal's life purpose. Lots of animals lay eggs. It is part of procreation, yes, not for our consumption, as you point out.

It does just show us how brainwashed we have become to accept a statement like that as somewhat factual.

(not dissing SaveTheIce just the sentence)

Emma JC

Ummmm.
Well, it sort of depends on what kind of lens you are using to look at the world. If you borrowed a biologist's point of view, the main purpose of a chicken is just to make more chickens. And a very important step in making more chickens is laying eggs.

That said, artificial selection has modified what is "natural" for your typical egg layer. I'm not sure of the numbers but I think the original chicken probably laid eggs just once a month. Maybe less than 30 or so eggs a year. But today's modern chickens have been selected for much higher yields. Up to 300 eggs a year. This puts unnatural stress on the chicken.

So laying eggs is a chicken's "purpose". but the high numbers are not "natural".
 

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Ummmm.
Well, it sort of depends on what kind of lens you are using to look at the world. If you borrowed a biologist's point of view, the main purpose of a chicken is just to make more chickens. And a very important step in making more chickens is laying eggs.

That said, artificial selection has modified what is "natural" for your typical egg layer. I'm not sure of the numbers but I think the original chicken probably laid eggs just once a month. Maybe less than 30 or so eggs a year. But today's modern chickens have been selected for much higher yields. Up to 300 eggs a year. This puts unnatural stress on the chicken.

So laying eggs is a chicken's "purpose". but the high numbers are not "natural".
I know arguing this doesn’t make any difference as to whether it’s okay to use eggs or not, but I never understand the argument that chickens only laid a few eggs a year, or once a month. How did they ever survive as a species? When allowed, Modern chickens lay an egg a day for about two weeks, then incubate them for 21 days, without laying additional eggs. Then they raise their chicks for several weeks, without laying additional eggs, then start over again. Did chickens in the wild only lay and raise 1 egg/chick at a time? I have no clue, but it doesn’t seem like the species would survive.
 
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Emma JC

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Most fowl, to my knowledge of birds other than chickens, lay eggs once a year, raise them and do it all again the next year.

"Modern" is the key word, I think, that we have changed chickens, over time, to meet our own needs and not theirs.

Again, the 'purpose" of all living beings is to produce more of the same and yet it is only with animals that are considered "food" that their 'purpose' is so totally distorted.

Chicken and pheasants and eagles and robins all have a life they deserve to enjoy living. They find a mate, the copulate (hey that rhymes), they have babies, raise them, fly off south for the winter (some of them, not all), and then rinse and repeat.

IMO Emma JC
 
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Lou

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@Emma JC @Mbeth
I think you both make valid points. I got curious and did some googling.

It seems that all the varieties or "breeds" of chickens are all the same species. Some are hybrids.

The common consensus is that the domestication of chickens started 5000 years ago in SE Asia. the original chicken was the Red junglefowl.

From Wikipedia
The red junglefowl breeds spring through summer, with the bird laying an egg every day. Eggs take 21 days to develop. Chicks fledge in about 4 to 5 weeks, and at 12 weeks old are chased out of the group by their mother – at which point they start a new group or join an existing one.​

Well,l that is probably why these animals were selected to domesticate as opposed to something like Robins.

And from AnimalEthics.org
A red junglefowl lays 12 to 20 eggs a year. The chicken industry breeds domestic hens to lay nearly 300 eggs a year. A red junglefowl can live several years in the wild. A commercial egg-laying hen lives up to one year then goes for slaughter, worn out by egg-laying.​


BTW, I thought this was interesting.
"Purebred red junglefowl are thought to be facing a serious threat of extinction due to hybridisation at the edge of forests, where domesticated free-ranging chickens are common."

982
 

Emma JC

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Here is a short article about it:
http://wtamu.edu/~cbaird/sq/2013/11/21/why-did-evolution-create-a-chicken-that-lays-so-many-unfertilized-eggs-when-that-is-so-wasteful/

(I typed this up an hour or so ago and forgot to hit Post - so kind of a duplicate of @Lou now, oops)

Emma JC

Why did evolution create a chicken that lays so many unfertilized eggs when that is so wasteful?

Category: Biology Published: November 21, 2013

Natural evolution did not create a chicken that lays so many unfertilized eggs. Human engineering created such chickens. You could call the process "human-caused evolution", "artificial selection", or "selective breeding". The evolutionary principles of survival of the fittest and inheritance of genetic traits still apply in artificial selection, but the agent that determines who is the fittest is a human and not a natural environmental pressure. In selective breeding, humans choose only the individuals of a species that have desirable traits to use as parents for the next generation. After several generations of selective breeding, the organism gains more and more of the desired trait. It's not that the humans are training or teaching the organism to have the desired trait. Rather, genetic mutations cause the next generation of individuals to have a variety of new traits (the "new traits" are typically very small modifications when looking at just a single generation). Most of the mutation-caused traits are undesirable or irrelevant. But the few organisms with desirable traits are selected and used to create the next generation.


Organic-food purists may think of words like "unnatural", "unhealthy", and "toxic" when confronted with genetically-modified food. But the fact is that all of our agricultural food has been genetically altered through thousands of years of selective breeding. It does not take a modern biotechnology lab to genetically optimize food for human consumption. All it takes is a farmer choosing the seeds from the juiciest apples, or the hen that lays the most eggs as the progenitor for the next generation. Perhaps without realizing it, humans have been genetic bio-engineers ever since the dawn of agriculture through selective breeding. After many generations over hundreds of years, domesticated chickens have laid more and more eggs per year as a result of humans selecting for this trait. All of the agricultural foods we eat, from wheat and rice to beef and milk, are far more nutrient-rich, delicious, and prolific than their ancient, wild predecessors because of human intervention.


The next question is perhaps, "Why do chickens lay unfertilized eggs at all?" The reason is that the egg is mostly developed before being fertilized. The chicken cannot know in advance whether the egg will end up fertilized or not, so it just has to go ahead and grow the egg in the hopes that it will be fertilized. In the wild, this system works well because mating among fowls is common and most eggs do end up fertilized.
 

Nekodaiden

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Good afternoon all

Been a vegan a year now and today i had a thought id like some thoughts on from some more knowledgeable vegans

In a land before thanos and way before i was vegan i was looking after my uncles house who had pet chickens (very well looked after) still not free birds i know :(
And i relaised this chicken was laying eggs without a rooster!

My question is if i hyperthetically had the sanctuary size land and i had just chickens and they where all laying eggs free will and just leaving them around as there not fertalized they just leave them

And i was to eat them would that be vegan?

Im not going to be doing this as i deffinately do not have the land but i was just thinking the chickens are free and cared for and they are not forced pregnant and there is no chance of a chick so no death involved

Like i say its a thought, just thought id ask and share :)

Happy living all :)

If the chicken were given special powers to speak and said to you:

"Human friend, thank you so much for all your wonderful care. I love my life here and feel very fortunate to not share the fate of most of my relatives. Here, please. Take and eat these eggs I've laid, as my personal thank you..."

The answer would still be NO - it is not vegan - because despite what some people may tell you veganism isn't some moral philosophy or all encompassing ethics (even if those are the original motives - motives do not define the action or inaction itself) - it's a diet that excludes all animal products. The ONLY people that are confused about this are people who use the ethical excuse to hide behind the fact that they are still eating animal products while calling themselves vegan.
 
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