How Are Hens Treated for ‘Cage-Free,’ ‘Free-Range,’ and ‘Organic’ Eggs?

From by Nedelle Torrisi
How Are Hens Treated for ‘Cage-Free,’ ‘Free-Range,’ and ‘Organic’ Eggs?

How Are Hens Treated for ‘Cage-Free,’ ‘Free-Range,’ and ‘Organic’ Eggs?

The public is becoming more aware of the daily horror that hens endure on factory egg farms. In response, the egg industry has created labels that sound appealing, such as “cage-free,” “free-range,” “free-roaming,” “organic,” and “natural” in order to attract more customers. But these labels are misleading. Here’s something that the egg industry doesn’t want you to know: “Cage-free” does not mean “cruelty-free.”

Even when chickens on “cage-free” farms aren’t kept inside dirty, cramped battery cages, it doesn’t mean that they’re allowed to roam free in green pastures or frolic in the sun.

Farms can use a term such as “cage-free” and still employ the same inhumane methods found on conventional factory farms.

“Organic” labels are the only of these labels subject to government regulations, but they mean very little when it comes to how the chickens are treated.

Hens on both small- and large-scale commercial cage-free farms still have short, painful lives.

They often spend much of their time confined to crowded sheds or mud-filled pens, just as animals on conventional farms do. When they are given outdoor access, it’s often just a hole cut in a shed wall that leads to a muddy pen—and typically for only very short periods of time.

When they’re chicks, part of their tender beak is cut off with a hot blade—without any pain relief. They sustain painful lung lesions, breast blisters, and ammonia burns from sitting on unsanitary floors covered with urine and feces. And male chicks are often ground up alive or thrown in the trash to suffocate or be crushed to death, since they don’t lay eggs and are considered useless by the industry.

chick getting beak cut off© Mercy For Animals

What You Can Do to Help

The egg industry uses more than 300 million hens each year for egg production. It doesn’t want customers to find out about its extremely cruel practices, because they’d stop buying eggs if they knew the truth.

© Follow Your Heart

The only way to reduce chickens’ suffering is to stop supporting the egg industry by simply not eating eggs.

Fortunately, a number of delicious, satisfying vegan options that you can use in place of eggs are readily available. Check out our favorite eggless options, along with these gorgeous, egg-free recipes.

Thinking about going vegan? Order our FREE Vegan Starter Kit today!

I Want a Vegan Starter Kit!

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