Sunday, December 13, 2009

Fowl Play

If you think that you are being less cruel and being healthier by eating “cage free” or “free-range” eggs, you might want to think again. Animals in "free-range," "cage-free" and other systems are still often subject to some or all of the following abuses:

Overcrowded living conditions
Denial of veterinary care
Abusive handling
Transport through all weather extremes
Painful mutilations (debeaking, castration, dehorning, etc)
Unproductive, "spent" or by–product animals, such as
male chicks of the egg-laying industry, are killed by
methods such as suffocation and crushing.
Violent slaughter

"Free Range" means that the animals must have some access to the outdoors, but there are no government regulations about how much outdoor area must be provided.
United Poultry Concerns, an advocacy group for poultry, describes the typical free-range egg farm like this:

"Typically, 2,000 or more hens - each hen having only 1 to 2 square feet of floor space - are confined in a shed without access to the outdoors during their lives. If the hens can go outside, the exit usually is very small allowing only the closest hens to get out. The yard may be nothing but a mud yard saturated with droppings and intestinal coccidia and other parasites."

"Cage-free" eggs means that the birds aren't in cages, but the majority of cage-free eggs are produced by hens forced to live in overcrowded sheds. These living conditions aren't as horrific as the typical battery cage, but overcrowding and cruelty are still common occurrences in many cage-free operations.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

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