What the Egg Industry Doesn’t Want You to See

The egg industry abuses and kills millions of chickens every year as a result of the financial support of egg consumers—many of whom don’t realize how cruel the industry’s practices really are. So here’s the truth about how the egg industry treats chickens:  

It takes approximately 34 hours for a hen to produce an egg. 

To keep up with demand, 346 million hens are used by the U.S. egg industry every year. 

Their lives are two years of constant misery, starting as soon as they hatch. 

Chicks are hatched in large incubators. They will never see their mothers. 

© Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals

Shortly afterward, the males and females are separated. 

© Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals

… and the males are either tossed into trash bags to suffocate or ground up alive.  

More than 260 million male chicks are killed by the egg industry in the U.S. every year. 

The ends of female chicks’ sensitive beaks are cut off with a hot blade. 

This is done so that they won’t hurt each other out of frustration during their intense confinement. 

Five to 11 hens are crammed into tiny wire “battery” cages. 

On average, each hen has an amount of living space that’s smaller than a piece of notebook paper. 

The cages are often stacked on top of one another … 

… which allows urine and feces to fall down onto birds in the lower cages. 

© Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals

Large piles of feces below the cages are common on some egg farms. 

Because of the terrible conditions, chickens frequently die in their cages. 

© Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals

They’re often left to rot alongside living birds. 

After about two years, those who have survived are sent to slaughter. 

© Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals

At the slaughterhouse, laying hens meet the same bloody end as that of chickens raised for their meat. 

© Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals

They’re shackled and hung upside down … 

© Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals

… they’re electrocuted, their throats are cut, and they’re scalded to death. 

How Can You Help Chickens? 

Even chickens on “cage-free” farms suffer. These birds are smart, social, sensitive animals. They don’t deserve to suffer for an egg sandwich. The most important thing you can do to help chickens is to avoid eating them and their eggs. Try the following instead of using eggs. 

When cooking: 

Have a delicious and easy tofu scramble instead of scrambled eggs! And if tofu isn’t your thing, there are many vegan versions of eggs—check some of them out here.  

When baking: 

Baking without eggs is SO easy. There are lots of fun ways to bake with your favorite boxed cake mixes using applesauce, pumpkin, or even a can of soda as a delicious replacement for eggs. You can also buy vegan eggs from most grocery stores. Here are some of our faves! 

For the holidays: 

For Easter, try decorating ceramic, cardboard, or wooden eggs—a fun, cruelty-free alternative to using chicken eggs. An added bonus is that your beautiful creations will last forever.  


Now that you know, will you ever look at a carton of eggs the same way? Share this information with your friends to let them know the truth behind the egg industry. 

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