Egg-Free June for Joan
Why make the pledge to go egg-free this June?
The cruelty inherent in the egg industry does not start and end with the confinement of battery cages. There are many cruel practices which span across all egg-production whether it's caged, barn-laid or free-range.
Joan was a free-range hen. She was debeaked as a chick and then suffered at a free-range farm before she was rescued. Unlike most hens, Joan was lucky enough to experience life outside of exploitation thanks to her rescuers, however, life in a free-range farm was so damaging and her poor battered body gave up only days after being freed.
Male chicks in the egg industry are all considered useless as they cannot produce eggs, so all male chicks are ground-up at birth while still alive.
Many female chicks suffer a process called debeaking, whereby they have the tips of their beaks burnt off with a hot metal blade. This is done to prevent hens hurting one another when they peck each other as a response to overcrowding. Debeaking is done without anaesthetic and many times leads to infection and deformity.
All hens are sent to slaughter when egg-production slows down, usually around 2 years of age. Normally a hen can live anywhere from 8 - 15 years but the egg industry cuts the lives of hens very short in pursuit of the highest yield.
The standard, legally enforceable in 2017, states that eggs can be labelled free range if hens have "meaningful and regular access to an outdoor range" and an outdoor "stocking density" of up to 10,000 birds per hectare whereas the CSIRO recommended a stocking density of 1,500 birds per hectare.
This new standard does not require chickens to actually be outdoors. Outraged by the decision, Choice has called a boycott of numerous free range egg companies who are planning to sell eggs as 'free range' under the allowed high stocking density. Many consumers have lost faith in the free-range label.
Considering the inherent cruelty that exists even in the lower stocking density farms, the only way we can ensure our diet is cruelty-free is by adopting an egg-free diet.
TO ACCESS EGG-FREE RECIPES AND HELPFUL TIPS FOR EATING OUT, MAKE THE PLEDGE TODAY TO GO EGG-FREE THIS JUNE:
Joan photos thanks to Tamara Kenneally Photography