Born into a world of misery: At the hatchery, chicks enter this world inside drawers of huge incubators. They have no mother to take care of them as nature and God intended.
Males: Male chickens are, of course, inevitably born, as well as females. However,
since the males serve no purpose to the egg industry, they are simply killed and tossed into the trash, so the farmer doesn't
have to "waste" money to buy food for them. The carcasses are either thrown into a "death pile", or are ground up and fed
to the hens.
Debeaking: "Debeaking" is a term used to describe a machine with a hot blade that
is used to cut off hens' beaks when they are born. This is extremely painful, because the beak is not only full of nerves,
but also because the end of her tongue is often cut off, along with the beak.When chickens are so crowded together, they irritate
one another, just as we would under similar living conditions. Chickens respond to such irritation by pecking the other
bird. In natural living conditions, the offending bird would just move away; but in cages, they can't, so these "farmers"
cut off the end of their beaks to minimize the injuries. However, this does not help the pain, because debeaking can
cause life-long pain for the hen.
Cages: Battery hens are kept in tiny cages, unable to turn around, for up to two years
of their life. By constantly rubbing against their wire cages, egg laying hens suffer from severe feather loss. This leaves
their delicate skin exposed and raw, leaving it more likely to be infected by disease. Standing on slanted wire
floors, battery caged laying hens commonly suffer from foot and leg maladies. To these egg farmers,
the suffering of the chickens is of little or no importance - if it allows the eggs to automatically roll out of the
cages, so that their labor costs are kept down. Typically, four to five egg laying hens are
packed into a wire battery cage which has a floor the size of a folded newspaper.
They cannot even stretch their wings. Many hens get their heads stuck beneath the feeding trough
and die of dehydration. We believe this happens because the hens are trying to rescue their newly laid eggs which have
rolled away. Hens who get caught underneath feeding troughs suffer from routine trampling from other birds until
they finally die. On the average, each of the hens in these battery cages has only about
52 square inches of cage "floor" area. That's an area of 7-1/4 inches by 7-1/4 inches.
And to think, all of this at the work of human hands. We
hope you'll remember this the next time you're family has eggs for breakfast.
"Battery Chickens" Photo Page
Alternatives for eggs in baking:
Ener-G Egg Replacer: This is the one I use most often in baking; it's really only good for recipes that
call for 1 or 2 eggs. You can find it at natural food stores. One whole egg = 1 tsp powder + 2 tbsp water. It's made from
potato flour and other vegan leaveners.
Tofu: Tofu is great for egg substitutions in recipes that call for a lot of egg (like quiches).
To substitute for only one egg in a recipe, whip 1/4 cup tofu and add to your cooking.
Stuff around your kitchen:
1 whole egg = 2 tbsp water + 1 tbsp oil + 2 tsp baking powder
egg = 1 tbsp ground flax seed simmered in 3 tbsp water
1 egg = 2 tbsp water + 2 tsp baking powder
egg white = dissolve
1 tbsp plain agar powder in 1 tbsp water. Whip, chill and whip again.
For use in sweet baking:
Try substituting 1 banana or 1/4 cup apple sauce for each egg
called for in a sweet, baked recipe. These will flavour the recipe, however, so make sure banana or apple will taste good