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Vegans and eggs - Page 3
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Thread: Vegans and eggs

  1. #101
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    Are you suggesting that most of the world and the entire population of the industrialized countries needs pyschological help? Cause I agree, though maybe it's not because they eat eggs . And chicken eggs (well almost all of them anyway) will not turn into a chicken, they're like unfertilized human eggs.
    "The question is not, can they reason? Nor, can they talk? But, can they suffer?"--Jeremy Bentham

  2. #102

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    If someone is eating truly cruelty-free, cage-free eggs, free (as in no dollar amount) eggs that do not exploit the animals, I have no complaints, but they certainly are not vegan. Vegans do NOT eat animal products.

  3. #103
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    I don't think I or Sisha is debating that the definition of veganism doesn't include eating eggs. We were just wondering if there was an ethical reason that eggs shouldn't be eaten if they are indeed "truly cruelty-free, cage-free eggs, free (as in no dollar amount) eggs that do not exploit the animals"?
    "The question is not, can they reason? Nor, can they talk? But, can they suffer?"--Jeremy Bentham

  4. #104
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    The only animals that eat their own feces are those that produce two types of feces, some that is not completely digested and they eat to recieve more nutrition, and mostly nutrient-free feces, like we have. Hamsters do this for example, but cows do not.

    If a laying hen is rescued from a farm, then I would like to think they would be put in the most natural environment possible, to help them recover and feel comfortable. It just seems like leaving them their eggs and letting nature take care of that helps a hen to establish her living space. I may be thinking of another animal, but I'm pretty sure hens are very picky about keeping things in order. It just seems like taking thier eggs disrupt that.

  5. #105
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    I've been trying to learn more about hens, and it seems that when a hens eggs, fertilized or unfertilized, are taken away, this stimulates her to lay more and more eggs. Laying more eggs can cause a bird to lose more calcium and other nutrients than they normally would, and an increased laying rate apparantly shortens a birds life span. I'm going to see what else I can find out.

  6. #106
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    Hmm...also, if a hen increases her laying, due to eggs being taken away, they require greater sustenence, thus raising the price of keeping the hens, which would be especially bad if the people keeping them are stuggling financially.

  7. #107
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    Re mice:

    I really wish they'd learn to use one place as their toilet, then I'd have no problems with them living in the house at all. I like watching their antics, too. They ARE very cute.

    Re rescue chicken eggs:

    Does rescuing chickens help end chicken slavery?
    It does for the individual chickens, but not for chickens as a whole.

    Chickens, like cows, have been bred to be much more 'productive' than their wild ancestors, and their behaviour patterns are 'unnatural'. Obviously, in the wild there would be many more males, and the hens' eggs would be fertilised, so they would sit on a clutch to hatch them out. They wouldn't lay a new egg every day. That is a perversion of natural behaviour brought about by their human domination, through selective breeding, or 'eugenics' as it's otherwise known.

    Personally, I'd like to see all human domination of other animal species become a thing of the past, like slavery. I think that it would really be better if the human-manipulated farm animals eventually became extinct, so wild animals could flourish again.

    I don't want to depend on them in any way, or partake of their 'produce'. I want to see a free world.

    Why eat eggs if you don't have to?

  8. #108

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    Quote Kelzie
    I don't think I or Sisha is debating that the definition of veganism doesn't include eating eggs. We were just wondering if there was an ethical reason that eggs shouldn't be eaten if they are indeed "truly cruelty-free, cage-free eggs, free (as in no dollar amount) eggs that do not exploit the animals"?
    Well, as I recall, the wording was asking if vegans should eat eggs. I think more accurately, it could be restated to ask should vegetarians eat eggs. I don't think vegans (true ones, I mean) consider eating eggs, really. They don't want animal products, in general, unless they're throwing their veganism out the window.

  9. #109
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    Re: is a mosquito a parasite ?
    Well... yes, i would imagine they were very much parasitical.
    In a similar way to mosquitoes those who feed on animals or their bodily fluids, but who do not actually live on them, could be construed as being parasitical.

    It's frustrating for me as I can see there are many committed vegans, who I respect, who are against eating eggs from rescue hens- but I can't see why. I really want to understand before I make the decision myself to stop eating the eggs. As you said in a different thread, Kelzie- it would be wrong to stop eating the eggs, simply to conform to a definition of what a vegan is.

    Not long ago, Sisha Fiend said :
    As I don't know of anyone with rescue hens, eating the eggs is a purely hypothetical argument.

    So to begin with this was hypothetical but now you are speaking as if you are presently eating Rescue eggs and want to hear some reason to stop before you will.

    It seems to me as if you are trying to use the ethics of rescue hen eggs to justify or rationalise eating less ethically produced eggs, but this may just be the way you are coming across. Certainly, what you have said is now contradictory.

    In the same way that vegetarians don;t eat meat as long as it's roadkill, vegans don;t eat eggs.


    Re:
    Just because something is bizarre, strange, or even disgusting, doesn't make it morally wrong, does it?
    Nope.

  10. #110
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    Quote snivelingchild
    I've been trying to learn more about hens, and it seems that when a hens eggs, fertilized or unfertilized, are taken away, this stimulates her to lay more and more eggs. Laying more eggs can cause a bird to lose more calcium and other nutrients than they normally would, and an increased laying rate apparantly shortens a birds life span. I'm going to see what else I can find out.
    Thank you. The eggs belong to the chickens. If you take the eggs, you are not doing charity. You are exploiting chickens. If you are concerned about the wellfare of chickens, let the chickens eat their own eggs.

  11. #111

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    Maybe their feelings will be hurt if you don't steal their eggs.



    hahahahahaha

  12. #112
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    I was thinking about this last night; it seems as though hens do not know if their eggs are fertilized or not, since they seem to try and hatch them regardless (from what I have read). Couldn't that mean that maybe when she discovers her unfertilized eggs missing, she feels like her children are being stolen?

  13. #113
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    Default Quoting veganmike from another thread

    By accepting that eating "free range" eggs is OK, you have to accept that drinking "free-range milk" is OK, too. Then you of course have, "free range" wool and, finally, "free range" meat. Accepting "free-range"/"more humane" you are setting a precedent for further animal use and whenever there is animal use, there is animal abuse. So in order to prevent any kind of abuse, you have to abjure the use.

  14. #114
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    Quote Shisha Fiend
    Vegan Society:
    'A vegan is someone seeking a lifestyle free from animal products for the benefit of people, animals and the environment.
    A vegan therefore eats a plant-based diet free from all animal products, including milk, eggs and honey. Most vegans do not wear leather, wool or silk.'
    The website also says "vegan lifestyles - that is, ways of living that seek to exclude, as far as is possible and practical, all forms of exploitation of animals for food, clothing or any other purpose".

  15. #115
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    Just because the chicken produces eggs and have been used to do so for quite some time, someone could become conditioned to seeing them as food, when they're not, they're the waste of another animal's body.

    Even if someone willingly gave up a waste part of their body that wouldn't mean you should eat it (take note Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall). The point is that seeing any part of any animal as food is leading to exploitation. If someone believes that animals aren't here to produce food for us, then no part of their body is ours to eat, whether they need it or not.

    Do the eggs need to be eaten just because they are there ?

  16. #116
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    I don't believe that ethical eggs leads down a slippery slope. Free range milk doesn't apply, the process by which a cow is made to produce milk is a huge burden on the cow, so it wouldn't matter if it was free-range or not (I would outline the way a cow is made to produce milk, but I know you know ). Sheep do not lose their wool naturally, so again, it would involve placing a burden on the animal by catching, and shearing it. As far as free-range meat goes, well killing an animal, whether it's free range or not, is a far cry from picking up an egg that it naturally produces, and is discarded from the body.

    So what about animal manure? It is surely a "waste part of their body", but (I'm not sure here) it seems like most vegans support using manure in gardens, because it is more natural than other fertilizers.

    Snivelingchild, if you could find that, that would be great...it sounds really interesting.

    Again, just in case anyone has not read the rest of the thread, I am NOT arguing for the change of the vegan definition. I know what vegans are, and I support the definition. And I don't eat eggs, but it is only to err on the side of caution. What I am looking for is an ethical reason not to eat eggs (to ease my moral conscience that's saying "but why are you doing this?")
    "The question is not, can they reason? Nor, can they talk? But, can they suffer?"--Jeremy Bentham

  17. #117
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    Quote Kelzie
    Snivelingchild, if you could find that, that would be great...it sounds really interesting.
    I am confused, which thing are you talking about?

    And about manure, I'm not really sure, but personally, I'd prefer other methods of farming like using no fertilizer since it's not really necessary or organic vegan farming. I don't know how one would even go about collecting manure if cows were not being farmed. Right now, the meat industry makes money off of manure, but if no one owned a cow, it seems like it wouldn't be worth it, financially, to go about collecting the stuff.

  18. #118
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    Quote Kelzie
    I don't believe that ethical eggs leads down a slippery slope. Free range milk doesn't apply, the process by which a cow is made to produce milk is a huge burden on the cow, so it wouldn't matter if it was free-range or not (I would outline the way a cow is made to produce milk, but I know you know ). Sheep do not lose their wool naturally, so again, it would involve placing a burden on the animal by catching, and shearing it. As far as free-range meat goes, well killing an animal, whether it's free range or not, is a far cry from picking up an egg that it naturally produces, and is discarded from the body.
    How do you know that taking the eggs is not a burden on the chicken? Snivels pointed out that who knows what the chick thinks, you could be stealing their "children." Sounds extremely traumatic to me .

  19. #119
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    Not to mention the negative health effects.

  20. #120
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    Quote snivelingchild
    I was thinking about this last night; it seems as though hens do not know if their eggs are fertilized or not, since they seem to try and hatch them regardless (from what I have read). Couldn't that mean that maybe when she discovers her unfertilized eggs missing, she feels like her children are being stolen?
    This is what I was talking about. Do you know where it's from?
    "The question is not, can they reason? Nor, can they talk? But, can they suffer?"--Jeremy Bentham

  21. #121
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    These eggs are from chickens that are kept. They aren't free to go, are they ? Why do animals, and in this case chickens, need to be kept. Obviously they weren't always kept. The chickens in question don't know any better, ok rescue chickens will know worse, but not having known anything better does not excuse why these chickens need to be kept, and there eggs eaten just because they are there.

  22. #122
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    Quote Kelzie
    This is what I was talking about. Do you know where it's from?
    No, I can't, I just read in a few places about hen behavior that they will sit on (I can't think of the proper term) unfertilized eggs. Let me look now and see if I can't find something online about it. Next time I go to the library, maybe I can find something on chicken behavoir as well.

  23. #123
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    Quote gertvegan
    These eggs are from chickens that are kept. They aren't free to go, are they ? Why do animals, and in this case chickens, need to be kept. Obviously they weren't always kept. The chickens in question don't know any better, ok rescue chickens will know worse, but not having known anything better does not excuse why these chickens need to be kept, and there eggs eaten just because they are there.
    I agree that the desirable outcome of the chicken breed that we have created would be to let them die off naturally. However, turning rescue hens out into the wild is a death sentence. They can't fly because of the breeding modifications, and most probably would have been debeaked. So in this, hypothetical case, the chickens have to be kept so they can survive.
    "The question is not, can they reason? Nor, can they talk? But, can they suffer?"--Jeremy Bentham

  24. #124
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    So I found this:
    "Q. "What does "broody" mean?"
    A. Going "broody" just refers to the instinct a hen has to stop laying eggs every day and to start sitting on the ones she's already laid, so that in 21 days they will hatch into chicks (provided a rooster has been mating with the hen). Some chickens "go broody" all the time. They are often bantam breeds, such as Silkies, or mixed breeds. Most purebreds, like Rhode Island Reds, were themselves not hatched by a mother hen. They were hatched in an egg incubator in a hatchery somewhere. You see, if you want a chicken that lays a lot of eggs for eating, you don't want one that still has the instinct to stop laying eggs and sit on her eggs all the time. You want one that has had all the broody instincts bred out of her so she'll lay for you year-round. So farmers over the years have raised up what are known as utility breeds; chickens that don't go broody and that just lay all year 'round."

    from: http://www.angelfire.com/falcon/thec...ntlyasked.html

    not sure about the how reliable this guy is, I'm sure he's not an expert in the field, but taking eggs from the unfortunate hen who hasn't had the instict "bred" out of them sounds pretty horrible. I'll keeping looking for more reliable info
    "The question is not, can they reason? Nor, can they talk? But, can they suffer?"--Jeremy Bentham

  25. #125
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    I have a future dream of a permaculture self-sufficiency property that I would love to create later in life and I was asked this morning about the eggs; if I have chicken on the property, what would I do with the eggs?

    I honestly was stumped since I didn't have plans to have a rooster (chickens form normal social heirarchies without them and roosters can be continual brutes at times to his ladies), but they would lay copiously. Domestic breeds are bred to lay, but if you give a broody hen a nest full of unfertilised eggs, she will sit on them until nature takes it's course and they go off.

    Chickens have large numbers of offspring to account for predation and other 'losses' along the way - it would be interesting to study wild populations of hens, but I am quite certain there would be a great loss to predators at many stages of their lives.

    Maybe I will be content with the wild bird population; but chickens are so smart and have so much character when in a peaceful environment. The make great garden companions.

  26. #126
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    Quote Kelzie
    You want one that has had all the broody instincts bred out of her so she'll lay for you year-round. So farmers over the years have raised up what are known as utility breeds; chickens that don't go broody and that just lay all year 'round."
    Great info! Maybe that's what I will be looking for - hens that are not good layers! Most liekly for me is that all my hens will be rescued ones from battery farms so I won't have a great deal of choice.

  27. #127
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    Saw this...I know it has no bearing on the subject, but:

    "Fact - The closest living relative of the t-rex is the chicken."

    "The question is not, can they reason? Nor, can they talk? But, can they suffer?"--Jeremy Bentham

  28. #128
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    Here's somethig else for your dream veganblue :

    "Fact - If a rooster is not present in a flock of hens, a hen will often take the role, stop laying, and begin to crow."
    "The question is not, can they reason? Nor, can they talk? But, can they suffer?"--Jeremy Bentham

  29. #129
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    "Chickens, like most birds, brood (sit on) their clutch of eggs to ensure that they develop properly. If the eggs are not maintained at 37C (99F) for 21 days, they will fail. Chickens lay one egg a day. The hen will delay brooding her eggs until she has accumulated her whole clutch of perhaps ten eggs. The first-laid eggs stay alive but do not develop at the lower temperature. This ensures that all the eggs will hatch at about the same time, a tremendous advantage in the wild, where it is important to leave the nest soon after the chicks have hatched."
    http://www.lawrencehallofscience.org...ickeneggs.html

    "When we remove the eggs, the hen supposes: "There are not yet enough," and continues to lay."
    http://www.afn.org/~poultry/egghen.htm

    I am looking for info concerning the brooding of unfertilized eggs.

  30. #130
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    Sorry, just read the bit about some hens not brooding at all. I guess that changes the theoretical to the ethics of having a rescued hen who does not brood, and taking her eggs. Even a hen that does not brood, however, will still eat unfertilized eggs if not taken, thus letting her become as healthy as possible. If I had any kind of animal, like say a cat, I would never deprive them of a natural cruelty-free way of attaining extra nutrients for a healthier life, and to me that is what it seems to come down to.

  31. #131
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    Quote Kelzie
    Here's somethig else for your dream veganblue :

    "Fact - If a rooster is not present in a flock of hens, a hen will often take the role, stop laying, and begin to crow."
    She can even biologically change her sex so that she becomes a he and can inpregnate the hens!

  32. #132
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    Just as long as she doesn't turn into a T-Rex...
    "The question is not, can they reason? Nor, can they talk? But, can they suffer?"--Jeremy Bentham

  33. #133
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    analogy time!

    (theoretical) If you had a cat who threw up hairballs, but cats naturally sometimes eat the hairballs agains for their exquisite nutritional value (still theoretical), yet you could weave hairballs into garments, would you take away the hairballs to make into clothing, or leave them be (possibly putting them in a designated place, like a hen has for her eggs, if the hairball was on your coffee table or something)?

  34. #134
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    It seems that it's not natural for a chicken to eat its own egg from this:

    "Anyone who has raised chickens for several decades will notice that some hens tend to eat their own eggs. Usually resulting from malnutrition, hens that eat their own eggs not only lower the flock's overall lay per hen average, but these hens might also eat other hens' eggs leaving the farmer with nothing but a few broken shells.
    How to cure this form of cannibalism (which is what it is, up there with toe picking, tail pulling, and head pecking)? Hens who eat their own eggs generally mean that they aren't getting the nutrients that they need. They might be eating eggs simply because they are trying to make up for whatever nutrients they aren't getting in their feed. Make sure you're giving them the right amount and type of food, and make sure its not musty, moldy, or stale. Go to our archives to read about what most feeds should have here."
    http://poultryone.com/articles/eatingeggs.html

    Although it seems to be from a source involved in chicken breeding...might be a little biased
    "The question is not, can they reason? Nor, can they talk? But, can they suffer?"--Jeremy Bentham

  35. #135
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    Edit: the hairballs are coughed up only in one place that is the cat's area.

  36. #136
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    "Egg eating occurs primarily in flocks that are kept on the floor (i.e., not in cages)". Ah sure, that's the solution, stick em in cages.
    "The question is not, can they reason? Nor, can they talk? But, can they suffer?"--Jeremy Bentham

  37. #137
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    Quote Kelzie
    It seems that it's not natural for a chicken to eat its own egg from this:
    Hmmm...they will only eat their own eggs if they don't get all the nutrients they need elsewhere.

    What we need answered is what a hen who does not brood will do if her eggs are not taken away. It seems that hens are breed to not brood so they will not brood even if they do not aquire enough eggs (as they will sometimes do if their eggs are taken). So if they don't brood after getting about ten eggs in their nest, what happens next?

  38. #138
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    This is just making me angry that they are breed to be so unnatural. Non-domesticated birds never lay unfertilized eggs. It just makes me angry.



    Also, it seems like the ethics of eating a particular birds eggs can never be known unless you observe the bird without taking the eggs. Even then, we will never know what goes on in the birds head. How can anyone be sure it does no harm?

    I still hold the opinion, by the way, that despite the harm, they are not your to take. If someone I knew had something I didn't think they used, and I didn't think taking it would harm them, I still would never take it without asking. If you can't ask, leave it be.

  39. #139
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    *sigh*It's true...although I am learning some interesting stuff. Did you know that hens actually store sperm to fertilize eggs? And that until the 4th day (their incubation is only 21 days) chick embryos are identical to all other mammals.
    "The question is not, can they reason? Nor, can they talk? But, can they suffer?"--Jeremy Bentham

  40. #140
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    Yeah, and the male's sperm can stay in the hen to fertilize the eggs she lays for up to 12 days!


    Also, I consider it unethical to eat something that hurts your body as much as eggs do, no matter the frequency.

  41. #141
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    Thanks for all the points everyone. Much appreciated.

    Well, I've never heard of a feather being reused by a bird or manure by a cow, but occasionally a hen eats her eggs. That's good enough for me, it is very healthy for them.
    Hmm. When my cat throws up, I find it ethically acceptable to clear away his vomit, or, if it is in the garden, bury it. However if left he will occasionally eat it. As far as I'm concerned, this doesn't make it unethical to clear it away.
    Plus, what when the hens won't eat their eggs? You have to clear it away. Surely if you're going to take it away from the hen anyway, you may as well eat it?

    Who wants to eat part of a chicken's reproductive system anyway? In principal it's no different from eating a human egg that will turn into a baby as well. I think it's disgusting a sick to eat any form of eggs even if the animals are treated well. I also think that people who see it as 'normal' need pyschological help.
    You're eating a chicken's period actually, unfertilised in this instance (From rescue hens) and just because the idea is revolting, doesn't mean it's morally objectionable.

    If someone is eating truly cruelty-free, cage-free eggs, free (as in no dollar amount) eggs that do not exploit the animals, I have no complaints, but they certainly are not vegan. Vegans do NOT eat animal products.
    Yes, but why not? I mean, vegans don't just avoid eggs simply because they want to fit into a definition- or do they? Is there an ethical reason not to? If not, if they're just doiing it just because, it seems pretty pointles- like who would be a vegan? Personally I think eating eggs from rescue hens is defensible as a vegan (though Kelzie doesn't so don't pin that on her! ), for reasons explained previously, with the vegan society's definition.

    If a laying hen is rescued from a farm, then I would like to think they would be put in the most natural environment possible, to help them recover and feel comfortable. It just seems like leaving them their eggs and letting nature take care of that helps a hen to establish her living space. I may be thinking of another animal, but I'm pretty sure hens are very picky about keeping things in order. It just seems like taking thier eggs disrupt that.
    I've been trying to learn more about hens, and it seems that when a hens eggs, fertilized or unfertilized, are taken away, this stimulates her to lay more and more eggs. Laying more eggs can cause a bird to lose more calcium and other nutrients than they normally would, and an increased laying rate apparantly shortens a birds life span. I'm going to see what else I can find out.
    Regardless of whether they are eaten or not, wouldn't the eggs be removed at some point anyway? Once this occurs, why not eat them?

    Does rescuing chickens help end chicken slavery?
    It does for the individual chickens, but not for chickens as a whole.

    Chickens, like cows, have been bred to be much more 'productive' than their wild ancestors, and their behaviour patterns are 'unnatural'. Obviously, in the wild there would be many more males, and the hens' eggs would be fertilised, so they would sit on a clutch to hatch them out. They wouldn't lay a new egg every day. That is a perversion of natural behaviour brought about by their human domination, through selective breeding, or 'eugenics' as it's otherwise known.

    Personally, I'd like to see all human domination of other animal species become a thing of the past, like slavery. I think that it would really be better if the human-manipulated farm animals eventually became extinct, so wild animals could flourish again.

    I don't want to depend on them in any way, or partake of their 'produce'. I want to see a free world.

    Why eat eggs if you don't have to?
    True. But rescue hens have been forced into that position by others and are now being cared for by vegan-y types. Do you know what I mean? It's not as if they've been deliberately bred that way by those who are keeping them- it's just that once you've rescued them, what are you supposed to do? You can't 'un-selectively breed' them. You can allow them to die out, but in the meanwhile you have to take care of them, and while you are doing this, what is the harm in eating the eggs they lay?
    As for 'why if you don't have to'- what I'm asking is why not.

    I don't think vegans (true ones, I mean) consider eating eggs, really. They don't want animal products, in general, unless they're throwing their veganism out the window.
    So I've been told- but what I'm asking is why not- what is their reason for not eating eggs apart from just the 'no animal products' rule- what's the ethics behind it? After all, no one on this forum just woke up and thought 'I know! It'd be fun to give up eating animal products!' You all considered the issues of animals being tortured, killed, and exploited for our own ends, in short the ethics, and you decided you couldn't partake in those industries- so you stopped. Do you get me? What's the ethical reasoning behind not eating the eggs from rescue hens?

    So to begin with this was hypothetical but now you are speaking as if you are presently eating Rescue eggs and want to hear some reason to stop before you will.

    It seems to me as if you are trying to use the ethics of rescue hen eggs to justify or rationalise eating less ethically produced eggs, but this may just be the way you are coming across. Certainly, what you have said is now contradictory.
    Sorry, yeah. That's my fault. I haven't found any local hen rescue centres giving away eggs in the last day and I haven't been looking - I just thought it was easier to say 'I need to know before I stop eating the eggs' than saying 'before I decide that it would be unethical to eat the eggs should I hypothetically come across a place that keeps rescue chickens, and be offered eggs by the carers.'
    And I would never ever even dream of eating eggs from any kind of profit-making industry- ever. I wouldn't want to justify that, I'd want to condemn it. That's definitely not what I'm about. If I came across that way, I can only apologise and state that I would never want to do that.
    Sorry for any confusion.

    In the same way that vegetarians don;t eat meat as long as it's roadkill, vegans don;t eat eggs.
    I don't exactly get what you mean there, but it seems to me that you're saying eating eggs from rescue hens would be like eating road kill?
    Well when I was arguing with myself over this I brought this point up and my conclusion was that I wouldn't eat road kill because I'd feel it was disrespectful to the life of that animal- like when my cat brings in dead mice, I prefer to bury them in the garden than throw them in the bin, because you know. I wouldn't eat the dead body of anything even though it's not causing suffering- it's just not respectful.

    However I think eating the waste product from a living animal is a different matter. Eggs are different from milk and meat in that respect (and in all others)- milk isn't a waste product, meat is a body, but eggs? Eggs are not needed by the chicken or anyone else. I think that's why this issue's come up and is different to any of the other vegan boycotts in terms of the ethics surrounding it.

    I was thinking about this last night; it seems as though hens do not know if their eggs are fertilized or not, since they seem to try and hatch them regardless (from what I have read). Couldn't that mean that maybe when she discovers her unfertilized eggs missing, she feels like her children are being stolen?
    That's interesting, and sounds like a sad by-product of the 'eugenics' kokopelli was talking about. However, wouldn't that mean that leaving the egg there encourages the hen to think her child has died? After all the egg is never going to hatch, wouldn't that cause distress too?

    The website also says "vegan lifestyles - that is, ways of living that seek to exclude, as far as is possible and practical, all forms of exploitation of animals for food, clothing or any other purpose".
    Yeah, and I guess what we are debating here is whether these eggs are exploitation of the chickens. If not, then it is still vegan to eat them- if yes, obviously it is unvegan. Once I am convinced it is exploitative I will agree that it goes against the definition of vegan- but if it isn't exploitative I don't see how it goes against that definition.

    By accepting that eating "free range" eggs is OK, you have to accept that drinking "free-range milk" is OK, too. Then you of course have, "free range" wool and, finally, "free range" meat. Accepting "free-range"/"more humane" you are setting a precedent for further animal use and whenever there is animal use, there is animal abuse. So in order to prevent any kind of abuse, you have to abjure the use.
    I'd just like to back up what Kelzie said- there is no 'have to' about it. I'm sorry, but to me this argument is on a par with the omni one about 'but plants feel pain too!' there's just a massive difference between eating a waste product, such as a chicken's menstrual period, to consuming the milk produced by a mother cow, for her calf. Even if there wasn't there would still be the issue of where is the mother's calf- how come you've got the milk to drink, why doesn't the calf have it, and from then- well you know all the deal about the dairy industry already!

    The point is that seeing any part of any animal as food is leading to exploitation. If someone believes that animals aren't here to produce food for us, then no part of their body is ours to eat, whether they need it or not.

    Do the eggs need to be eaten just because they are there ?
    No, they don't need to be eaten, but why not?

    The idea about it leading to exploitation is interesting, perhaps you are concerned the whole cycle could start again- chickens get rescued, people eat eggs from rescue chickens, someone thinks- hey this could make me a pretty penny.

    Thing is, even if this alleyway was open, 1. Would someone who thought like that about animals really be involved with rescue hens? 2. Would those taking care of the hens allow that person to breed more so that they could profit from the eggs?

    I think the answers to both those questions are no, so although this is an interesting argument it is similar to the slippery slope. If you feel that eating eggs from rescue hens would lead to you seeing animals as commodities, here to produce food for us, and so possibly lead you towards the eating of flesh, dairy, or other unethical products- obviously it would be wrong for you to eat eggs. However if you know it would not lead you to think in this way, I see no ethical problem. Therefore I think it is for the individual vegan to decide.

    These eggs are from chickens that are kept. They aren't free to go, are they ? Why do animals, and in this case chickens, need to be kept. Obviously they weren't always kept. The chickens in question don't know any better, ok rescue chickens will know worse, but not having known anything better does not excuse why these chickens need to be kept, and there eggs eaten just because they are there.
    I agree word for word with what Kelzie said here:

    I agree that the desirable outcome of the chicken breed that we have created would be to let them die off naturally. However, turning rescue hens out into the wild is a death sentence. They can't fly because of the breeding modifications, and most probably would have been debeaked. So in this, hypothetical case, the chickens have to be kept so they can survive.


    ^Apologies to all if any of the above sounded arsey, pompous, or know-it-all. I think some people have recently joined the thread so you may not fully understand where I'm working from- I don't wish to undermine anyone, just gain more insight from knowledgeable vegans. And for me, questions and debate are the best way to do this.

  42. #142
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    Sorry Sniv and Kelzie, missed all your posts as I was too busy typing my loooong reply...

    Thanks for all your information about hens. I think it's fascinating. I read a study the other day, by CIWF. Apparently they gave hens grain, dyed yellow and blue. The blue grain had a substance in it that made the hens feel unwell for a while, and they soon learned to eat only the yellow. (Wait for it, that's not the climax!) Anyway a while later they had chicks, and again blue and yellow dye was added to the grain, only this time, both types were harmless. What happened though was the chickens taught their chicks not to eat the blue grains, following them around and guiding them away from it.

    This study was presented to people involved in the egg industry, to prove the chickens had complex memories, self awareness (what have I done to make me feel ill? Eaten something unusual), and a feeling for their chicks strong enough to stop them eating the blue grain.

    ^Any idiot knows this of course, but demonstrating it so plainly to all these fat cats is really cool.

    What we need answered is what a hen who does not brood will do if her eggs are not taken away.
    I totally agree, we can't really progress this discussion until we find out. Until we do I am sure our respective positions remain.

    This is just making me angry that they are breed to be so unnatural. Non-domesticated birds never lay unfertilized eggs. It just makes me angry.
    Me too. I know this sounds stupid but sometimes it just makes me so fucking mad this, all this stuff. The way animals are just, you know, ours to use as we wish. It's not right. Back when I was doing all the major research into the meat, eggs, and dairy stuff, that convinced me to become a vegan, I remember I often used to lie awake at night seething about it, and I used to just end up crying, because I'd be thinking about all the animals in the factory farms and stuff, all there while I was lying in my bed. It just made me feel so mad, and so helpless, and so angry, and so pained.

    And when you find out all this stuff, about how intelligent chickens are and everything- I mean come on. Look at how we've bred them so they're basically not chickens any more, they can't even fly now for fuck's sake- and they have STILL managed to maintain their own society- my god they even go for the lesbian solution when there's no rooster around! How can people treat them like that?

    It's evil. I tell you, that's what it is, it's evil. I don't have any qualms applying that word to this.


    Also, I consider it unethical to eat something that hurts your body as much as eggs do, no matter the frequency.
    Yeah, well. I think once a year or so probably wouldn't hurt. I suppose we'd need to research it a bit more, I'll do that if you like.

    xxx

  43. #143
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    Oh yeah Sniv your hairball thing. I know this misses the point, just as saying 'but it's a chicken period' misses the point, but personally I find hairballs vile. No way would I go picking through them to find the hair to make the blanket or whatever. Plus I'd probably clear them away and throw them out, because eurgh. Don't want them around the house.

    Though in all honesty it comes down to how distressed the cat is by not having them. Which brings up your point of:
    What we need answered is what a hen who does not brood will do if her eggs are not taken away.
    Still stuck there then.

  44. #144
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    Re eggs and health: I've found this article: http://babies.sutterhealth.org/healt...ticle&id=21202
    which is like the most recent piece of research I think, at least all the websites set up to discuss the detrimental effect of eggs on the human heart are buzzing. Literally buzzing man, I tell ya. Sometimes I wonder just who puts up some of the stranger sites you get on the net. How many people can there be who are like THAT dedicated to, I don't know, quidditch, or killing chavs, or something. Anyway.

    Yeah so, so far I haven't found any sites refuting this study, which in case you didn't want to click the link seems to go for the 'all in moderation' approach- after all it's not saying eat aggs 24/7, just that 2 every six weeks do no harm to a healthy heart.

    EDIT:
    Oh wait: 'this study was funded, in part, by the American Egg Board.'

    What's it worth, then? Don't bloody publish it.

    xxx

  45. #145
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    There are hens that aren't broody, "Modern egg-laying breeds rarely go broody, and those that do will often stop part-way through the incubation cycle. Some breeds, such as the Cochin regularly go broody, and make excellent mothers." Which makes sense on the industries part. If you can breed out an extict that distresses hens when you remove the eggs, so much the better.

    Which still leaves the question. If you are providing a home for rescue chickens, I'm assuming you're providing the proper feed, so they wouldn't be eating eggs. Whether the hens are brooders or not, the eggs can't just be left there. They do go bad. So at some time, they have to be removed...and unless you are going to eat them, they will just be thrown away.
    "The question is not, can they reason? Nor, can they talk? But, can they suffer?"--Jeremy Bentham

  46. #146
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    vegans don't just avoid eggs simply because they want to fit into a definition- or do they? Is there an ethical reason not to? If not, if they're just doing it just because, it seems pretty pointless- like who would be a vegan?
    Firstly, the vast majority of people - including yourself - have never come across anyone with rescued hens.

    Most people never do, but then again most never look... i doubt there are many around to find to begin with, though.

    So, obviously the vast majority of people aren;t in the particularly unique situation which you are outlining.
    As such, this is the stance from which they give up eating eggs from - considering the ethics of their own situation without becoming involved with investigating the ethics of eating eggs from rescue-hens.

    Other than ethics, there are other concerns for vegans when it comes to eating eggs.

    Health is a main one - eggs carry disease and they contain no fibre, they are nutritionally lame.

    Another is adopting a more common-sense and natural approach to food rather than just doing what has been taught to them unquestioningly.

    In the same way that a vegetarian would not be quite happy with eating roadkill just because there are no ethics involved (ie it is not harming the animal to eat its body, and really leaving it to just rot there some would consider that a waste) a vegan would not be happy to guzzle down eggs if there were no ethical issues involved.

    It is harmful also, to animals - for people to continually treat their bodily fluids like "food"... people who do this perpetuate the belief that this is an acceptable way for humans to behave, and reinforce the widespread conditioning that various non-foods should be thought of as food.

    Children generally do not consider the idea of eating flesh or processed bodily fluids of other species - unless they have been conditioned to accept this process by their parents. As is shown through the lives and stance of countless lifelong veg*ns.

    It also harms the vegan movement if some people go around calling themselves vegan while eating eggs... typically, people who eat commercial eggs will feel much more secure and safe in continuing what they do if they know "a vegan who eats eggs" , in much the same way that "vegetarians who eat fish" give omnivores a happy (but unethical) glow inside.


    Personally I think eating eggs from rescue hens is defensible as a vegan
    No dice - vegans don't eat eggs.
    Full stop, end of story.
    Ethics are not the be-all and end-all.

  47. #147
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    Quote Astrocat
    Firstly, the vast majority of people - including yourself - have never come across anyone with rescued hens.
    Just because the situation is not common does not mean there is something ethically wrong with it.


    Quote Astrocat
    Health is a main one - eggs carry disease and they contain no fibre, they are nutritionally lame.
    I love me some vegan cookies Not much fiber in em...kind of a lot of sugar. Nobody's saying that you should retructure your diet around eggs. I don't eat them, and I'm pretty sure when Sisha does, it's a once-a-year thing.

    Quote Astrocat
    Another is adopting a more common-sense and natural approach to food rather than just doing what has been taught to them unquestioningly.
    There are many things that Sisha and I can be accused of here. I don't think that accepting ethical eggs without questioning it is one of them.

    Quote Astrocat
    It is harmful also, to animals - for people to continually treat their bodily fluids like "food"... people who do this perpetuate the belief that this is an acceptable way for humans to behave, and reinforce the widespread conditioning that various non-foods should be thought of as food.
    So you think they should be taken from the chickens and thrown away?

    Quote Astrocat
    It also harms the vegan movement if some people go around calling themselves vegan while eating eggs... typically, people who eat commercial eggs will feel much more secure and safe in continuing what they do if they know "a vegan who eats eggs" , in much the same way that "vegetarians who eat fish" give omnivores a happy (but unethical) glow inside.
    IF I ate eggs, I wouldn't call myself a vegan. Vegans don't eat eggs. What I'm trying to figure out is why all vegans think it's always wrong?

    Quote Astrocat
    Ethics are not the be-all and end-all.
    I can't speak for everyone here, but I have a feeling that ethics have played a central role in people's decision to become vegans
    "The question is not, can they reason? Nor, can they talk? But, can they suffer?"--Jeremy Bentham

  48. #148
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    Something is bothering me here. Earlier someone mentioned about the trait of brooding being bred out. It seems this can only mean when birds would occasionally brood even when their nests aren't full, and they don't do this anymore. But birds did brood always when they had a full nest. Is this also bred out of them, because the eggs of the chickens they use are always taken. Do they brood or not when allowed a full nest? Does anyone know this, because how can they be sure they don't brood if they always take the eggs away. If this is so, that means the egg industry couldn't breed new layers, unless they use incubaters. Do they use incubaters?

    This would mean these birds could never reproduce naturally, because the eggs would not survive.

    Doesn't all this mean that we would be taking advantage of the aspects man has ruined for the hens. I could not feel right doing that. Now I don't even care if the chicken gives a damn, it just doesn't seem right to be gaining from these poor creatures. I don't care if they realize they are being exlpoited. Heck, they probably don't know they're being exploited in factory farms, just that they are being hurt. You can't have a symbiotic relationship unless both parties consciously agree to it, not in my mind. Also, that would mean your benefitting from the egg industry, making these hens the way they are.

    Birds are smart creatures. They take care of their nests. They would not let them rot in the nest, they'd rot into the ground and help fertilize to grow plants for the earth and other animals that eat those plants. That does a hell of a lot more good than eating it for yourself. Why can't they be left for the hens to take care of themselves, so that they can decide?

    I don't understand how someone sees a difference if someone who owns hens to eat their eggs, but treats them nice, and someone who keeps hens to take care of them, treating them equally nice, but eats their eggs. The same thing happens, but one is exploitation and one is not? Does it just depend on what the person thinks about it? Shouldn't it depend on what is done? This is like debating whether or not taking a pen from someone is okay, based on how important it is to them or if they use it. That might matter to how much they value it, but not to the moral equation of taking it. It is not yours.

  49. #149
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    I'm not sure if this answers you question about brooding or not: "If the eggs are not fertilised, the hen will eventually grow tired of being broody and leave the nest. Modern egg-laying breeds rarely go broody, and those that do will often stop part-way through the incubation cycle."

    Seems to say that brooding birds will leave after a while if the eggs don't hatch, whereas non-brooding birds will leave regardless.
    "The question is not, can they reason? Nor, can they talk? But, can they suffer?"--Jeremy Bentham

  50. #150
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    Apparently at Farm Sanctuary, they hard boil the eggs and feed them back to the birds.

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