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Easter: 'Eggs'tra Cruel for Chickens!

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Posted April 3, 2012 by Whitney Calk

When I was growing up, I looked forward to Easter for a few reasons: It meant that I could expect a sweet basket of chocolates from the Easter Bunny, that I got an extra day off from school, and that I could dye Easter eggs with my family.

Dyeing eggs was a tradition in my house, and I never thought twice about it—that is, until I found out the truth about where Easter eggs come from.

I know you’re thinking, “DUH, Whitney! Eggs come from hens!” Trust me: There’s a bit more to it than that.

egg laying hens

Did you know that 280 million chickens are used each year for their eggs? Here’s what they go through:

  • At just a few days old, a large portion of each female chick’s beak is cut off with a burning-hot blade and without painkillers. Many birds, unable to eat because of the pain, die from dehydration and weakened immune systems.
  • They are then crammed together in wire cages where they don’t even have enough room to spread their wings. Because the birds are crammed so closely together, these normally clean animals are forced to urinate and defecate on one another.
  • At just 2 years old, most hens are “spent” and shipped to slaughter, generally to be turned into chicken soup or cat or dog food because their flesh is too bruised and battered to be used for much else.
  • Since they can’t produce eggs, more than 100 million male chicks are suffocated, decapitated, crushed, or ground up alive every year.

Dyeing eggs doesn’t seem so fun anymore, does it? And did I mention that, cruelty aside, eggs are nothing more than chicken periods?! Vomit.

Still want to have some eggcellent fun this Easter? Take the cruelty-free route and decorate papier mâché eggs or EggNots—dyeable, ceramic “eggs”—instead!

What are some of your favorite cruelty-free ways to celebrate Easter?

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