The Unseen Before Your Plate
After I posted a photo of caged chickens and spoke about why my family (not me) eat only organic, pastured eggs, I had numerous emails alerting me this week of the horrors involved in hatcheries that many of even the organic egg farms source from. I was really pleased to know there are a whole bunch of people who are also aware of this unseen cruelties. At the same time, I also had lunch with a very intelligent, wonderfully conscious friend who was shocked to learn that dairy cows do not just naturally produce milk... with no judgement, it highlighted to me the crazy curtains that block out many hard truths of industries. As 19 year old, I was a happy vegetarian, eating enough cheese to feed a small family before I finally had my eyes opened to the fact that
To make milk you need to make a baby.
Not rocket science but I had the realisation that often when we are eating, we do not connect to the dots to how the food got to our plates.
So what, surely letting the cows have babies is no problem? Except there is. If that baby is a male, which 50% will be, there is no "value" to its life, so it gets sent to slaughter within a few days of its birth, also leaving its mother distressed. Therefor on todays farms, the equation actually looks like this;
To make milk, you kill a baby.
The same unfortunate "price tag" issue reoccurs with the egg industry. Hens that lay eggs are killed a couple of short years into their over-worked life and are replaced, through "hatcheries". The 12 million male chicks born in Australia, and millions more across the globe, are worthless to the industry, as they do not lay eggs and will not grow big or fast enough to be sold for "profitable" poultry meat. So they end up being killed in the masses, by either being ground up alive or suffocated.
To make an egg, you need a hen.
But on the majority of farms,
To make an egg, you kill a "rooster".
These deaths also occur in the organic industry. There are a couple of dairy farms, I have found, that allow the calves to at least stay with the mother until they are 6 months old, but then they are too, slaughtered for veal.
In the organic egg industry, there is nothing stopping the farmers from getting their hens from hatcheries. There are again, some farmers that run their own farms and do not source from hatcheries... and my next task will be to provide you with a list of those farmers.
Below are some further videos that I highly recommend allowing 10 minutes of your time to educate yourself on part of the journey on how your food gets to your plate, especially the first undercover scenes at a hatchery. If you have more time, then there is also the 50 minute doco, "Fowl Play."