“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
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 nonhuman residents at sanctuaries around the world 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:
Do Hens Care About Their Eggs?
Perhaps a more accurate way to look at a hen’s attachment to her eggs is not its presence, but its forced absence.
Backyard Chicken Farming Leads to Abandoned Hens
Even for those select backyard chicken “farmers” who plan to keep their hens for the 12+ years or so that they will not be laying, there is a trail of tortured layer hens, and dead chicks in their wake.
A Hen’s Relationship with her Eggs
During my time working around chickens, there were a number of experiences that changed my perspective on eggs and opened my heart to the hens that laid them. The first started with making a homemade “farm fresh” omelet out of eggs a friend had collected.
Cage-Free? Not Free Enough.
Do these labels really indicate an improvement in ethical standards, or are they simply a way for the animal industry to regain consumer confidence in their products?
What’s Wrong with Backyard Eggs?
As we look more closely at the reality of the backyard chicken trend, it becomes increasingly clear that it is the same commodification of animals, packaged in niche marketing to appeal to the modern “conscious consumer”.