“The sad reality is that, no matter how well treated laying hens may be in their foreshortened lives, they remain the product of enormous and intentional cruelty that is inflicted only because people want to consume eggs.”
~ Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary
A new educational pamphlet titled “What’s Wrong with Backyard Eggs?” is the latest release from Peaceful Prairie, a farm sanctuary that provides shelter to animals rescued from cage-free, free-range, small-scale and family farms.
Yes, despite the prevalence of the modern myth that family or backyard farming is an ethical alternative to large-scale, industrial, factory farms, the reality is far from how it is portrayed. From hens to goats, sheep to cows, the animal residents at Peaceful Prairie tell a different story, and their human guardians are determined to spread the word that backyard eggs are not the way of the future.
Of course, this isn’t news to many of us who happily avoid eggs in favor of vegan alternatives, and for those who are moved to join this growing trend, you can rest assured that it’s easier than ever to replace eggs in baking, as well as for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
For more information about why the farming of hens is problematic in and of itself, regardless of scale, please take a look at the following articles.
A Hen‘s Relationship with her Eggs
“My host and I were well into chopping back the lavender when we suddenly heard an agitated clucking below us. As we moved back one of the bushes we discovered a large black hen who had started a nest. She was attempting to shield her brood from the intruders hovering above her, but this hen was not a rescue. She had been brought onto the farm to produce eggs, and even though she had been clever enough to attempt a nest away from the chicken cage, her eggs were not considered her own.”
What‘s Wrong with Backyard Eggs?
“It‘s easy to conceptualize the relationship as one of respectful symbiosis in which the backyard farmer provides food and shelter to her flock in exchange for the “gift“ of hens‘ eggs. However, this bucolic portrayal ignores several essential ethical questions, not the least of which being the fundamental issue of whether humans have the right to breed other animals for our own purposes, and whether it is appropriate for us to conclude that a hen “doesn‘t care“ whether someone other than herself decides what happens to her eggs.”
Backyard Chicken Farming Leads to Abandoned Hens
“The reality is that raising ‘local‘ and ‘home-grown‘ animals will never be humane or ethical, nor is it possible to supply the demand for animal products and flesh in any manner. Small-scale ‘hipster‘ farmers are simply getting a taste of what it means to treat a living, breathing animal as a product, and it appears that many don‘t have the stomach for it.”
Cage-Free? Not Free Enough.
“In recent years, the campaign to replace battery-farmed eggs with a cage-free, ‘guilt-free‘ version has gained tremendous popularity. For those who are aware of the suffering of hens in the egg industry, the ‘cage-free‘ movement appears on the surface to offer a win-win situation: improved welfare standards for hens… and eggs can remain on the menu, even for concerned consumers.“
Photo credit: Thinkstock
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