By Amanda Wilkes:
Until a few weeks ago, I associated eggs only with a happy holiday called Easter and funny riddles like Humpty Dumpty. I did not like the smell, taste, or even the look of eggs before I was introduced to an all new kind of egg, a farmers’ market egg. Most eggs bought at a large chain grocery store come from factory farms. Factory farms do not treat their animals in a proper manner. From birth, the chickens begin a living hell. The “useless” males are separated from the females and thrown away into a large pit to either starve or to be ground up for their sisters’ future “meals.” The survivors endure their beaks being cut off so they do not peck each other to do death in their barely breathable cages. They are fed hormones from birth so they can begin producing eggs long before they naturally would in order to keep egg production rates high. As you can imagine, disease in these facilities is at an all time high, so in order to reduce the “problem” that these people are creating, they give the birds antibiotics to keep them alive, barely. My questions are (1) Why are we still supporting these types of “farms” by buying their products? and (2) Why are we okay with eating that? Not only are we supporting animal cruelty, but also we are supporting the pharmaceutical industry by making ourselves sick when we ingest the hormones and antibiotics that the birds are constantly given. It upsets me that we know exactly what is happening, yet we refuse to change our ways.
For me, it wasn’t just the horror stories that haunted my mind; it was the smell,taste and texture of the eggs that did not settle with me. Luckily, a dear friend sympathized and found it hard to imagine life without eggs. She told me that, with only one egg, she would change my perception and, if not, she would never bother me about it again. Of course I took the challenge in hopes that she would be right, and she was! She hard boiled an egg for me and when she served it, the first thing that caught my eye was how much more appetizing it looked than any other hard boiled egg I had ever seen! The yolk was actually a bright golden yellow, not a grayish muted yellow that I always had seen before. When I bit into the yolk (previously my least favorite part), a buttery smooth sensation filled my mouth. From that moment I was hooked. I couldn’t believe that I had been missing out all these years. When I insisted on knowing where she had gotten these perfect eggs, she told me that they are sold at the local farmers’ market. The next week I found myself buying a dozen eggs at the booth that I had walked by time after time, assuming they were like every other horrid egg I had tried. My favorite part of the farmers’ market eggs is that, when you open the carton, the eggs are not “perfect.” In fact, they are all different colors, ranging from blue to white to yellow to brown with little freckles on them. They are quite a cute little bunch of eggs. And although this may sound crazy, you can actually tell that these eggs came from happy chickens who eat bugs and grass, live outside and most importantly of all, have names.
● Read more about factory farmed eggs at http://www.farmsanctuary.org/issues/factoryfarming/eggs/
● Read more about different types of eggs http://www.backtobasicsorganics.com/uploads/Eggs___Chlorophyll.pdf
● Raise your own chickens http://www.mypetchicken.com/backyard-chickens/chicken-care/chapter-1-why-chickens.aspx
● SAVE A CHICKEN FROM A FACTORY FARM