Why don't vegans eat eggs?
There's nothing wrong with eating non-fertilised eggs
One argument I came across several times was, hens produce eggs naturally. Moreover, if they're not fertilised, nothing will come of it the contents, so why not eat it?
This paints an illusion. It made me image a field where the hens are free. They go off to lay their eggs but we know they're not fertilised so we take them and there's no harm done!
But it's not like that at all.
Are eggs good for your health or not?
There's been a lot of debate about whether eggs are detrimental to good health or not. Those who want to control calorie intake, often don't eat eggs. It has been said that, people on high sugar and high carbohydrate diets, shouldn't eat eggs because there's a higher risk of suffering from many diseases.
Does the production of eggs have a negative effect on the environment?
The quotes below are from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s report, "Livestock’s Long Shadow" and the United Nations News Centre's article about the report:
Livestock now use 30 per cent of the earth’s entire land surface, mostly permanent pasture but also including 33 per cent of the global arable land used to producing feed for livestock.
As forests are cleared to create new pastures, it is a major driver of deforestation, especially in Latin America where, for example, some 70 per cent of former forests in the Amazon have been turned over to grazing.
The livestock business is among the most damaging sectors to the earth’s increasingly scarce water resources, contributing among other things to water pollution from animal wastes, antibiotics and hormones, chemicals from tanneries, fertilizers and the pesticides used to spray feed crops.
(The livestock sector) is probably the largest sectoral source of water pollution, contributing to eutrophication, "dead" zones in coastal areas, degradation of coral reefs, human health problems, emergence of antibiotic resistance and many others. The major sources of pollution are from animal wastes, antibiotics and hormones, chemicals from tanneries, fertilizers and pesticides used for feedcrops, and sediments from eroded pastures.
A tight fit!
Some vegans don't eat eggs because they can't stomach the way the hens are kept. They may have a 'whole' cage to themselves but the cages are so tiny that they can't turn around or move in any way at all.
Eggs are OK because the chickens aren't in a cage!
An alternative which many vegans aren't any more comfortable with is, chickens being kept in an 'open' space which is null and void because there are so many chickens, that it's not an open space at all!
It would have been a chick!
Others knows that if fertilised, the consumer would be eating what could have become a chick. This is meant to be a rare occurrence but nevertheless; too high a risk for some.
No male chicks needed!
Some vegans don't want to be part of the egg producing industry because for those that do hatch, the males aren't needed. Why? Chickens don't need a male to lay an egg.
Some sources state that they are thrown in the bin and left for dead or they are ground up alive. Of course the motivation here, is to avoid 'wasting' money on sedating them. Killing them humanely isn't on the agenda.
Other information suggests that there is a huge demand for male chicks as they are used to feed reptiles, birds of prey etc. Some sources state that they are gassed and then fed to them whole.
There are many vegans who are uncomfortable with either of these scenarios and therefore they do not eat eggs.
Are there any other reasons why vegans don't use eggs?
Some people who follow a plant-based diet don't agree any animals being exploited, enslaved, trapped, stolen from, hurt and killed; possibly for being the 'wrong' gender.
“We are not encouraged, on a daily basis, to pay careful attention to the animals we eat. On the contrary, the meat, dairy, and egg industries all actively encourage us to give thought to our own immediate interest (taste, for example, or cheap food) but not to the real suffering involved. They do so by deliberately withholding information and by cynically presenting us with idealized images of happy animals in beautiful landscapes, scenes of bucolic happiness that do not correspond to anything in the real world. The animals involved suffer agony because of our ignorance. The least we owe them is to lessen that ignorance.”
Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson