Omelettes, pancakes, mayonnaise, cakes, mayonnaise, lasagna... Western staples with one indispensible common ingredient: eggs. With pan-fried and hard-boiled eggs accompanying most breakfast meals for our much-needed protein, how do we get on without eggs? Actually, we can get on perfectly fine without eggs, and if we consider how 99.9% of our eggs are produced, it makes perfect sense to give eggs a wide berth.
Needless to say, eggs originate from egg-laying hens who are highly social creatures and who are very sensitive to emotions and external stimuli. Unfortunately, due to the huge global demand for eggs especially with their high density of the much sought-after protein, hens are selectively bred to lay an obscene amount of eggs, around 300 in a year, when the natural amount of eggs laid should be around 12 per year at most. This imposes an enormous amount of stress and nutrient loss to egg-laying hens. Indeed, many hens in their final years suffer from bone fracture or deformation and can barely stand upright, due to the loss of calcium and other vital nutrients for their bones.
What's more, with every birth of chicks from a hen, roughly half of them are male and half of them are female. Male chicks cannot lay eggs and their flesh is no good for the poultry industry, so each and every single one of them is ground up or gassed alive at birth.
Female chicks have their beaks – one of their most sensitive organs – painfully seared off at birth, to avoid them pecking each other in the grim and densely packed battery cages in which they reside for the rest of their lives.
Having literally no space at all to turn around, and sitting one on top of each other, these poor hens end up urinating and defecating on each other right until the moment they are past their sell-by dates for egg production.
One might say, “Yes, I get that eggs that are intensely produced involve unspeakable cruelty to animals. But what about free-range / cage-free / enriched-cage eggs? Do they represent big steps forward for animal welfare and perhaps I can be an animal lover whilst indulging in these higher welfare options once in a while?” Unfortunately, these are nothing but marketing gimmicks that delude consumers into thinking that they're doing a lot for animals when the improvements are miniscule. Go and search for free range egg production on the internet and you'll find largely similar acts of cruelty to hens which are almost no different from the intense confinement in battery cages – in fact, the enhancements only come in inches in most cases. “Free-range” or “cage-free” only result in a larger shed of hens being so densely congested with each other that they can hardly turn around. If anything, these “higher welfare” labels create a niche market that only makes everyone feel more comfortable about eating eggs after all.
With regards to protein, eggs are not the only source on planet earth – in fact, far from it! Protein exists in every type of food, and all animals get their protein from plants. Plant-based ingredients such as hemp, lentils, seeds, beans, quinoa, chia, millet, and processed plant foods such as tofu, seitan, tempeh, all contain high densities of protein which are sufficient for the needs of even sportspeople engaging in endurance sports, let alone those of everyday people. A select amount of food businesses have even created specialised plant-based egg replacers and vegannaise – vegan mayonnaise literally. With the usual breakfast staples of omelettes and pancakes easily veganisable by replacing eggs with bananas, who said being vegan has to be difficult?
Indeed, come down to one of Europe's biggest vegan events VegfestUK Bristol – on May 21st 22nd at the Amphitheatre – and see for yourself how attractive, amazing and achievable it really is to be vegan and live without animal products. With a vibrant mix of stalls, caterers, talks, cookery demos, workshops, kids activities, on top of music all day from 2 stages, VegfestUK welcomes everybody with open arms to a mega-party of eating, shopping, education, dancing, chilling out and socialising under one roof! Find out more about the event in the event programme here:
Make sure to invite your pre-vegan friends to VegfestUK Bristol – tickets to the event are on BUY ONE GET ONE HALF PRICE until April 30th and can be bought at www.bristol.vegfest.co.uk/admission or in the widget below:
The last “Vegan” billboard poster comes with a number of other hard-hitting posters as part of a vegan educational campaign in Bristol launched by the world’s 1st guitar-playing pig Pig Freud:
Your help with raising funds for this first-ever billboard project in Bristol would be much appreciated, thanks! You can donate at the link below:
Pig Freud would also appreciate your help in collecting donations for his project at VegfestUK Bristol 2016 – for full details see blog below:
In conjunction with his fundraising drive, Pig Freud will also be performing at VegfestUK Bristol 2016, on Sunday May 22nd at 5pm on the Buskers Stage. You can join the Facebook event below and invite your friends:
from Vegfest UK