Why Vegans Do Not Eat Eggs
Vegans have very restrictive diets. We don’t eat meat, poultry, fish, dairy, or eggs. To be a vegan, it can mean one of two things. Either you don’t consume any animal products whatsoever or you not only avoid eating animal products but also refrain from wearing anything derived from an animal.
It is understandable why a vegan will not eat something like a chicken or cow. It is a living breathing being. But what about eggs? An egg is technically not an animal. Sure, it has properties of life to it like a plant, but it isn’t a walking mammal that can communicate. So why then don’t vegans eat eggs?
The answer is threefold. In this blog post, we will talk about the production of eggs and the brutal nature of the process, the health aspects of eggs, and moral position on consuming eggs.
The Philosophy of Veganism
Before we delve into this topic, let’s first understand veganism. This will provide the proper framework to know why vegans avoid eggs. As vegans, we have a sensitivity to the life of not just humans but animals as well. We can appreciate that they are thinking, reactionary beings who can communicate, build relationships, be parents, and show a will to live. We understand sometimes we need to utilize animals for our personal needs such as moments of starvation or warmth. We also understand that in the 21st century, eating animals and wearing their skin, especially in places like America, is completely unnecessary. You are arguably healthier if you avoid consuming animal products. As far as staying warm and clothing ourselves, there is cotton, polyester, and other synesthetic fabrics that don’t require the need of animals. Therefore, our positions as vegans is this – the use of animal flesh is completely unnecessary for the western way of life because of all of the available alternatives.
Vegans and Eggs
Now that we understand the position of vegans, and since eggs are completely not needed for our diets (which we will go over later), there is no need for a vegan to pursue this food item. But let’s add another layer to this. We view the production of eggs as a brutal process. Very few people are aware just exactly what happens in factory animal farms to produce an egg. PETA has a great article on eggs that you should check out.
Within the current egg industry, 300 million hens are currently being utilized to quench the demand for this product. In most cases, hens are put in small cages that measure 18×24 inches. This is essentially a prison cell that they are living in. In instances where the chickens are “cage free”, they are crammed very tightly to the other hens in an almost immovable position. Within the last couple of decades, statistics show that hens are producing twice as many eggs as they used to many years back. Biologically speaking, hens have not simply evolved so quickly to somehow be able to produce more eggs. The hens are pumped with various agents and feed to produce as many eggs as possible. Their birth cycles are also manipulated by farmers to produce the most amount of eggs possible. A hen can live for ten years however their egg production drops after age two under the current egg farming conditions. When this happens, their profitability drops substantially. So after two years of abuse, they are then finally sent to their slaughter even though they could have lived for approximately eight more years.
This already is enough to understand why vegans don’t eat eggs. We would clearly be contributing to the untimely death of chickens, contributing to their prison-like state, and paying for the exhaustive and brutal process that they live through to produce eggs.
Eggs and Health
Per a CNN article dated March 15, 2019, a new study shows consuming three or more eggs per week increases your risk for heart disease. The yolk is considered to be a major source of cholesterol. According to the study, if you are consuming 300 milligrams of dietary cholesterol each day, your risk for an early death is higher than that of a non-egg eater. The article states that you increase your risk of heath disease by 3.2% and an early death by 4.4%.
Why eat something that increases your chances of death? I remember before I was a vegan when after eating a ton of eggs, I would feel like crap. This food item is so physically heavy. Even from a mental standpoint, I felt foggy and tired almost immediately.
This is another reason why a vegan wouldn’t eat eggs (at least those who are vegan for health purposes) – the cholesterol levels are insanely high. Since your body already naturally produces cholesterol, and the cholesterol from animal sources is generally bad for you, there is no good reason to consume eggs. Did you know vegans generally consume almost little to no cholesterol in their diets? Look at the labels of plant-based food. You will notice something interesting – Zero cholesterol!
This article has already illustrated the moral dilemma of egg consumption but I would like to add one more caveat. Hens are living things and eggs are essentially their embryos. This is an extreme example but would you be okay if we chained women into tightly packed cages and extracted their baby embryos for consumption because it was considered a delicacy or a staple of our diets? I don’t think so. That sounds like a dystopian novel. This is how I view the egg industry. We are taking away something from mother hens that doesn’t belong to us.
Additionally, have you ever thought about just how smart chickens are? Here is a great article discussing the intelligence level of chickens and hens. They have shown signs of self-control, logic similar to that of a two-year old human child, and the ability to anticipate a future event. To simply lock these animals up, and steal their unborn children to fry up and eat is absurd.
In conclusion, the reason why vegans don’t consume eggs is rather simple:
- Eggs are bad for us because of the high amount of cholesterol.
- Egg production in synonymous with inhumane conditions for hens.
- Chickens are highly intelligent beings who don’t deserve ill treatment from us simply because their eggs taste good.
- Hens are so physiologically tired from their two year cycle of mass egg production that they are sent to slaughter even though they still had another eight years to live.
- Eggs simply don’t belong to us. It’s the embryos of a mother hen.
Let me know what you think about this article! If you like what you read, maybe you will also like to hear about my reason for boycotting Ben and Jerry’s vegan ice cream.