12 Egg Facts the Industry Doesn't Want You to Know
Eggs are among the most nutritious foods present on the planet. Eggs are classified as superfoods. A single boiled egg contains vitamin A, vitamin B5, vitamin B12, vitamin B2, phosphorus, Selenium, calcium. zinc, Vitamin D, vitamin E and Vitamin K. In short they are a complete package of a lot of nutrients that a body needs. They are enriched with Omega 3 fats. Although eggs are high in cholesterol but do not adversely affect the level of cholesterol in the body. Eating eggs everyday increases the level of HDL( high density lipoprotein) which is good for heart problems.
It also contains a very unique substance known as Choline which is very rare to find in a food element. Choline is used to gear up the brain functioning. The two powerful antioxidants present in eggs, lutein and zeaxanthin reduce the risk of cataracts and common eye disorders. Protein as we all know is the main building blocks for any human body and eggs are the excellent source of proteins. A large egg contains 6 grams of it. Having enough protein in your diet helps with weight loss, low blood pressure, bone health, muscle mass and other health benefits. .
If you are thinking that eggs contain a lot of calories, then you should get happy that it contains only 77 calories and it promotes weight loss. Despite having so many relevant elements there are still some facts which are buried somewhere. These are a kind of facts which the industry doesn't want us to know. These are some facts which are the harsh reality of the Egg Industry.
Egg Industry is a multi dollar industry that makes huge amounts of profit by exploiting the lives of female chicks.Globally, more than 300 million chickens are used to lay eggs per year.
Last year, the US egg industry produced 9.1 billion dozen eggs. India ranks third among the leading egg producing countries in the world. The contribution of Indian egg industry according to 2016 data is 6.2% of the global production which is 4.56 mill. t. The leading countries above India are China and the USA consecutively. There has been a relative growth in the production of eggs from 2006 to 2016.
In India, the three leading states are Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana with a total contribution of 50.5%. From the per capita consumption of 38 eggs in 2006 to 66 eggs in 2016, India has a high shell for egg consumption. Shell eggs are even exported to countries like Western Asia, Africa and Europe.
Challenges faced by Indian Egg Industry
Indian Egg Industry has dealt with a lot of challenges. They used to have problems like egg farms were not upto international standards, quality of the feed was poor, lack of poultry veterinarians, insufficient hygiene standards,low qualification of farmers,no climate control, lack of knowledge of various diseases, etc.
Sometimes the dual purpose hens are used for egg as well as meat production.Many backyard flocks have local breeds with low laying rate. With time the government has taken a lot of measures to improve the quality of the farm management.
The new development included closed facilities for birds,multi tier cage batteries with automatic feeding and watering systems.The veterinary services have been increased as the demand boosted. These changes have increased the distribution system of eggs.Small traders have earned a lot in this egg trade.small farmers with packet flags of all the eggs at the market or directly to the consumers.
In 2018, Ise Inc. the largest egg producing company of Japan started its operation in Gujarat as a joint venture with Suzuki Motors. Their plan was to produce 4 billion eggs per year. This initiative has only raised the standard of the Indian Egg Industry but has also provided the Indian Consumers with a better quality of eggs.
12 Egg Facts the Industry Doesn't Want You to Know
Till now we have just read how eggs are beneficial to our body or how the egg industry is booming and has shaped well with facilities. But there also lies a picture which is unseen and unheard from the rest of the world. These are the facts which are unknown to the rest of the world and it’s high time to reveal.
These are some of the harsh reality checks of the Egg Industry which the industry doesn't want you to know :
- It is a very harsh fact that the global egg industry destroys 6,000,000,000 newborn male checks every year. To maintain the demand more than 300 million hens are being used by the U.S. egg industry every year.
- Male chicks which are born from egg laying hens don't have the capability to lay eggs and also this breed cannot be used for meat. Male and female chicks are separated through a process of “sexing”. Since, male chicks are worthless to the industry they are disposed of like trash. They are suffocated to death or even grounded alive somewhere in the industrial areas.
- Newborn chicks are alert,intelligent and much more aware of the environment.In fact, an exclusive social behaviour to human communications has been observed in the chickens.
- Due to unnatural high rate of egg laying results in frequent and mortality among hens.
- It takes 34 hours for a hen to produce eggs. A lot of genetic manipulation and selective breeding is practiced by farmers to gain more eggs from the female chicks. Due to these manipulations the female chicks are able to produce 250 to 300 per day. Wild hens lay only 10 to 15 eggs manually during the breeding season and only for the purpose of reproducing. To maximise egg production the hens are fed only a low calorie diet. This process induces an extra laying cycle.
- Because of the advancement in the egg industry and introduction of battery cages for hens. It has become difficult for more than 300 million birds to even stretch their wings in that cage. 5 to 10 birds are squashed in just one cage that they can only stand or crouch on the hard wires of the cage which sometimes even cut their feet.These battery cages are just 18 inches by 24 inches. Because of this horrible condition, hens peck one another due to stress and injuries. Sometimes they even kill each other or die because of suffocation. Due to this close ended structure, birds have to urinate at the same place and then stay there for hours and hours. This causes ammonia and other diseases among the birds. Many times some birds die in that cage and other birds have to live there in the same cage until the farmer removes the dead body.According to the Center for Disease Control around 1 in 10,000 eggs are contaminated with Salmonella. These birds too deserve a cage free life.
- Farmers who keep the chickens are such an oppressor that they don’t even think twice before cutting off a portion of their sensitive beaks without even using a painkiller. A chicken’s beak contains a lot of nerves and is much more sensitive than a human fingertip. Many birds even die due to the unbreakable pain and shock. Even in factories, a large proportion of beaks are cut off without using any painkiller. Chickens then face a lot of problems in eating and drinking after their beaks are mutilated. A lot of them suffer from dehydration, hunger or even die.
- After two years in these harsh conditions, the hens’ body loses the ability to lay eggs and the production drops. Then these hens are sent to slaughterhouses where their legs are tied with ropes and shackles and their throats are cut. By the time these hens reach the slaughterhouses, roughly 30% of them suffer from broken bones. It all happens because of negligence, rough treatment and osteoporosis.
- Lifespan of a normal chicken is around 10-20 years in the egg industry. But most of the hens are killed at the age of 1-2 years as soon as their egg production stops. Every new born chicken is separated from her mother.
- For each egg shell which is produced, a hen mobilizes 10% of the calcium stored in the bones. This makes the hen weak. Hens generally suffer from ‘fatty liver syndrome’, which provides the egg yolk with protein and fats.
- The birds are put through a process known as ‘forced-molting’ which involves starving the hens for about 18 days. They are kept in the dark, and denied water. This shock process is to fasten the intense egg-laying process.
- Eggs which we often see and consume as organic, free range and humane labels also have their origin in these killing hatcheries. So, if you still want to go for a healthy egg diet buy organic eggs from local farms where these birds are free to roam around and their feed is free from antibiotics.
Now, what can we do ?
Now as we have got to know about the harsh reality of the chickens the only alternative we have is to eat a plant based diet instead of having egg dishes. Although it is very difficult to replace eggs in baking, dieting and some other food items, replacing them will decrease the demand and will save a lot of lives. Share the true information about the egg industry as much as possible and encourage people to adopt vegan lifestyle. Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. Replace your normal food with vegan products.
You can save a lot of animals just by becoming Vegan. It’s good to have animal products or animal derived products as they are very healthy but by vegan diet you can avoid animal exploitation. Veganism is a moral stand. It is also helpful for heart diseases, certain types of cancers and heart diseases. Hence, join the vegan society !