Can Eggs Help You Build A Bridge To A More Humane Diet?
I’m still looking for the consumer poll that has asked this simple question:
Do you wish that no animals had to die for the food you eat?
Even among meat eaters, I would think the answer would nearly always be “yes”. Why would any of us want animals to die in order for us to live?
But then come the qualifiers:
“I can’t give up my steak/hamburger/corned beef/beef stew, etc.
In other words, you want a steak but you’d much rather not have to have an animal die to provide you with it.
The next question is a deceptively simple one. Is eating animal derived food produced in conditions less severe than their conventional, CAFO raised counterpart more humane? While the answer is an obvious “yes”, it, too, is a qualified one.
Domesticated animals raised for the purpose of producing food for humans never live out the length of their natural life span.
If you’re getting Animal derived food from a retailer, even the ones raised on organic green pastures, their lives are much shorter than their predictive natural one.
Some farmers would interject here and say that it is unlikely any would live a natural life span unless it was raised as a pet, free of predation.
Regardless, it is a reasonable expectation that farmers can and should provide them with better living conditions, kinder treatment and more attentive management than found in large scale factory farms. Most of us are by now aware that on such farms, hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions of food producing animals are kept in unnatural confinement where they can not experience anything close to their natural behaviors.
Yet, at the end of the day, all of them leave this life prematurely, greener pastures or not.
The end point is that no matter how a food source animal is raised, it only exists because we want it to provide us with food. They are beasts bearing the burden of the human diet.
So why don’t we just start eating foods not derived from animals? Why aren’t we all vegans?
Aside from what has already been mentioned, One reason is the nutritional hurdle one faces when switching to a Vegan or vegetarian diet. Making sure you will be getting all the essential amino acids, including branch-chains, found only in animal proteins is a serious consideration.
Given that dilemma, the solution for many of us who can’t completely give up Animal derived food sources is to choose eggs.
Eggs provide us with not only an abundance of those amino acids, but also every vitamin except vitamin A. All this from a food source that is much easier on the environment than other food producing animals, a key benefit mostly overlooked. (See the previous blog post about this and look for more in the future).
Eggs are also a renewable food source. The laying hen lays nearly an egg every day. Each one has all you need from an Animal derived food source and the chicken didn’t have to die to provide it. If you add a component of improved living conditions, eggs have a natural advantage when considering more humane treatment of a food producing animal.
If your ultimate goal is to become Vegan we certainly don’t want to dissuade you from it. But if you need a bridge to ween yourself off of Animal derived foods we think eggs are the best building block. Certainly better than that steak you may crave.