Hens have been selectively bred to lay many times more eggs than is natural, and this comes at a significant cost to their health. Their wild cousins, Red Jungle Fowl, lay 10-15 eggs a year, primarily in spring1 but we have bred birds to lay eggs all year round.
Each eggshell consists of 90-95 percent calcium carbonate,2 which means a lot more calcium is needed than would be natural, and the extra is taken directly from the birds’ bones. This coupled with the lack of opportunity to exercise leads to brittle bones or osteoporosis,3 and that can mean spontaneous bone fractures.4 Just imagine the agony of standing on broken legs or being confined in a tiny space with many others while trying to protect a broken arm. Pain relief is not given to hens in commercial farms as the cost of it outweighs the profits. They are either left to suffer or they are killed.
The majority of egg-laying hens live miserable lives inside cages. Here, there is nothing for them to do but stand on wire mesh and watch their eggs roll away. In nature, they would scratch in the earth, roam, roost, wing flap and dustbathe. They would build nests, and would care for their young diligently, even communicating with their baby inside his or her shell.
In farms, they can do none of this, and there is no happy retirement for the hen who laid your egg. When their productivity declines they are sent to slaughter, and new birds will take their place.
This suffering continues only because people buy the eggs.
Take our vegan pledge today and you’ll receive a FREE Health and Nutrition guide, recipes and a Vegan Starter Kit.