Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Other Side of the Egg Debate

I am a firm supporter of reforming factory egg farming. I believe that chickens should have room to stretch and walk around. And I'm willing to pay for more expensive eggs if it allows for that.

However, I'm also aware that I'm fortunate to have a job that allows me to pay for that. Not everyone has that luxury. Organic eggs are more expensive than the standard egg carton. It's unfortunate and, hopefully, short-term, but it's the current reality. I'm not willing to compromise my beliefs, but I can sympathize with concerns of those who fear the possible rising cost of anything. Especially in these economic times.

This short article reports that Vancouver, BC is considering a measure similar to Prop 2 in California, but there are concerns amongst advocates of the poor.

Hetty Alcuitas, a volunteer with Grassroots Women, said she sympathizes with the environmental and animal-rights arguments against caged chickens. But with battery eggs costing about $2 a dozen and organic free-range eggs costing between $5 and $6 a dozen, the impact of the proposed change goes beyond poultry.

“For some families who are struggling, eggs are a common staple that you can feed a lot of mouths without a lot of money,” she told the Straight. “This is not the best time to be putting these kinds of restrictions on affordable food.”

The motion, which comes to the Metro Vancouver board on Friday (February 27), encourages stores and restaurants to promote organic free-range eggs; makes Metro Vancouver caterers and operators use organic free-range eggs; and will result in letters to Victoria, Ottawa, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency opposing current practices “based on the inherent cruelty of confining egg-laying hens in battery cages”.

1 comment:

G said...

Unfortunately, the resolution that is being considered in Metro Vancovuer (this is the greater Vancouver area, which includes the city of Vancouver) will only result in city-owned facilities using cage-free eggs and the board will recommend that local businesses and consumers purchase cage-free eggs. It in no way prohibits battery cage operations not will it in any way affect the eggs sold in supermarkets. It is really a symbolic resolution - a good one, but doesn't do much.

Also, citing eggs as a nutritious food for the poor ignores the health benefits of giving up eggs. Eggs are certainly not necessary for a healthy life - and vegans have consistently been shown to live longer, healther lives than non-vegans. Reducing the amount of eggs eaten by anyone could only have positive health benefits.

When I was younger I lived for many years on very little money (minimum wage in the US) and I ate a healthy, well-balanced vegan diet. No eggs were involved and I ate well, never went hungry, and am perfectly healthy.

Using the other side of the egg debate as an excuse to cage chickens and ignore their need for a natural life is just that, an excuse.