Cage-free eggs are more than just a marketing gimmick. They’re a real, sustainable way to humanely source the eggs that we all enjoy for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Have you ever thought about where your eggs come from? To be honest, I never did until we started raising our own chickens. In the beginning, it was just for their eggs and because we thought they were cute, but what we quickly came to realize is that chickens – like all animals – have their own personalities. They have their own social systems. They are actually quite intelligent in addition to being adorable. When I learned how most mass-produced eggs are sourced, I was horrified.
A Life of Torture
You may not think of the life of an egg-laying chicken because it’s not directly on your plate. It’s easy to wonder where our steak, pork chops, or chicken breasts come from because we know that an animal had to give up its life so we could eat what’s on our plate. It’s a little different with eggs. We don’t normally think about the chickens because no obvious death is involved. The sad truth, however, is that the majority of chickens raised on giant commercial egg farms have horribly sad lives. Conventional eggs – those not harvested from chickens living in a cage-free environment – come from hens that are ware crammed together in small, filthy, and barren wire cages.
They are used up in about two years, and during that time, they’re crammed into spaces so small that they can’t even fully lift their necks or even spread their wings. They can’t dust bathe or do other natural chicken behaviors. They usually have broken bones and obvious mental trauma. Some hens who become so exhausted that they can’t remain upright are even trampled to death by their cage mates. Then, at the end of those two years, they’re simply killed and replaced by more hens to repeat the horrible cycle all over again.
Cage-Free Eggs Matter
The term cage-free isn’t just a way for companies to charge you more for a product. They’re a way of humanely sourcing our eggs. I’m willing to pay more for eggs that I know come from a place that treats their hens humanely. I believe in being kind to all humans and animals – all creatures great and small, as they say. That includes the hens that produce the eggs that my family eats.
When I look at a carton of cage-free eggs, I know I’m looking at the physical representation of an attitude of respecting and caring for the animals that are bringing food to my family’s table. I also know that my money has gone to a company that cares for their hens humanely and doesn’t torture them for the duration of their short, miserable lives. That matters to me. I’m trying to teach my children to love and care for everyone and everything in the world, and I want that to extend to our table, as well.
Sign the Petition
I’m a firm believer in cage-free eggs for myself and for the companies that I give money. Companies like Cracker Barrel and Dunkin’ have previously pledged to only use cage-free eggs, but it seems that they’re beginning to waffle on that pledge. Let’s remind them that promises matter, especially when they relate to the brutality of the mass-produced chicken farms out there.
The Humane League has created petitions to help hold these companies accountable. Please sign and share this petition asking Cracker Barrel and Dunkin’ leadership to stand by their promises and accelerate their progress towards using only cage-free hens. Please click here to learn more about the issue and what you can do to help. Thank you for helping animals!