Egg prices have tripled in some states in the past year, largely because of the slaughter of nearly 58 million birds sickened by bird flu.
Yet, no price can possibly justify the cruelty inherent in egg production. When chicks are hatched, all “useless” males are ground up alive or suffocated in large plastic bags. The “lucky” females are crammed five to a wire cage the size of a folded newspaper, where they are unable to spread their wings or display other normal behaviors. The wire floor cuts painfully into their feet, as the walls tear out their feathers. When their egg production drops after 18 months, they are simply ground up for pet food.
But there is more. Eggs contain saturated fat and cholesterol, key factors in incidence of heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes. They frequently carry food-borne bacteria, including Salmonella, Campylobacter, Listeria, and Staphylococcus, which account for 1.3 million U.S. illnesses and 500 deaths annually.