living in the modern world, i try to do as michael pollan says and vote with my fork three times a day – and this especially true with my eggs. i only buy free range, grain fed, organic, hormone free eggs. but what if that wasn’t enough? what if cage free just meant that the chickens had access, but never left their cramped quarters?
according to ellen kanner in her article for the huffington post, americans eat 76 billion eggs per year and to keep up with demand, many justify the use of battery cages or factory farms, where the chickens are stuffed with food and jammed together so tightly that they cannot even walk. she says the only ethical choice to make when purchasing eggs is:
If you want to take a step back to the pure, bucolic life an egg evokes, the World Society for Protection of Animals (WSPA) asks you to make a modest new year’s resolution — switch from commercially raised eggs to buying those labeled “Certified Humane,” “American Humane Certified,” or “Animal Welfare Approved.” This means your eggs came from chickens raised with care, not confined to battery cages and stuffed with weird growth hormones or antibiotics. And these three designations are verified and monitored by animal rights organizations. In other words, they have some oomph behind them, unlike popular claims like “cage-free,” which does not.
at the eat humane, animal welfare approved and eat wild websites, you find lots of information and ways to find ethically grown meat and dairy near you. the world society for the protection of animals has listed the various labels we find on our food and rated them from good to best.
i’m going to keep my eye out for those labels, but in the meantime, i don’t know why it has never occurred to me to buy my eggs at the farmer’s market – i finally did this weekend. i fried one up this morning and it was deeeelicious! and i’m not yolking!