It started with an allergy. When I was kid, I was constantly watching Rachel Ray and Emeril Lagasse, so I loved cooking. Whenever I got the chance, I was cooking alongside my mom, yelling “BAM” while seasoning the meatloaf (in the 90’s it was SaltBAM, not SaltBae).

Every time we would cook or bake with eggs, I would break out in giant hives and get a scratchy throat, all of the signs of an allergy to raw egg. My mom was afraid that I was also allergic to cooked egg. When my family would eat eggs at breakfast, I would eat toast or fruit instead.

Also, I don't find runny food appetizing at all. Who wants their food to be bursting with yellow puss? Not me, sir, I'll take a side of hash browns and a coffee, tysm. The last thing I want added on top of a beautiful pizza is a dang egg. Slap some basil on there and call it a day!

As time went on, I would try eggs ever so occasionally (or be forced to). I became an adult who never eats eggs ever, except in cakes and stuff like that, because who can deny a good old-fashioned cake, ammirite?

During my environmental science class in high school, we watched an insanely influential documentary, Food, Inc., which completely shifted my views on eating and the food industry. Along with the insane facts you’ll learn after watching Food, Inc., you’ll become a lot more conscious of what you’re eating and where it comes from. Another amazing food truth documentary is COWspiracy (a Netflix cut of the doc was executive-produced by Leonardo DiCaprio). 

Some Sad Facts

What forced me to deep dive into this topic was learning that baby chickens are separated by sex: the males are chucked right into a grinder to be killed because they are deemed useless. What happens to the male chickens? They don't lay eggs, so they are killed just after hatching through various methods such as carbon monoxide poisoning to suffocation. 

Another fact that amazed me was that, like all birds in nature, hens only lay about 10 to 15 eggs per year, during their breeding season. Hens in factory farms have gone through decades of genetic manipulation, which allows them to be in breeding season almost all year long, laying from 250 to 300 eggs per year. When they can no longer produce eggs, farmers ship them to the slaughterhouse.

Humane Egg Production Isn't a Thing 

Steph Thomas

If you’re thinking “Oh, I’ll just purchase care-certified or cage-free eggs,” think again. United Egg Producer's guidelines for caged and cage-free hens recommend debeaking so the chickens don’t peck each other to death in their confined spaces.

This involves removing the chickens' beak with high-intensity heat or a hot blade, resulting in chronic pain, reduced ability to feed, and stress for the chickens. Following these guidelines allows the eggs to be stamped with an “Animal Care Certified” logo, making you believe that somehow the chickens were treated just like you treat your puppy. "Cage-free" usually just means that hens laying eggs are inside barns or warehouses and raised under artificial light.

Knowledge is Eggs-cellent

I have found countless inspiring (and scary) YouTube videos about processed food, veganism, and raw food diets. One frightening video that pushed me towards trying to eat fewer animal products, especially food that contains eggs, is “5 Reasons to Stop Eating Eggs Today” by the controversial, raw vegan YouTuber, FreeLee the Banana Girl (warning, it’s graphic).

This video focuses more on the health effects of eggs that I haven’t mentioned that are seriously frightening. If your excuse after learning all of this is, “I eat eggs because I need protein,” don’t worry, humans do not need nearly as much protein as we are lead to believe. You can get a ton of protein from lentils, chickpeas, tempeh, the list goes on.

I’ve absolutely loved watching other (more positive) vegan Youtubers like Ellen Fisher and Raw Alignment. These awesome YouTubers have pushed me to make more conscious decisions about my food and moving towards a more plant-based diet.

I'm not going to lie, sometimes I'm jealous of people in the egg game just because they can make a meal so quickly and easily. Whenever those thoughts cross my mind, I just think of the videos I've watched, grab a banana, and I'm on my way!

Anyway, those are my thoughts on chickens and eating their potential babies. My opinion is that if you love something, like eggs perhaps, just make sure to do your research.