Who is still buying them? Well it turns out all of us are. Whether you pick up boxes of free range eggs or not the chances are you are still buying caged eggs in some form. 51%* of eggs produced in the UK in 2015 come from hens kept in cages. That is around 5 billion eggs per year or 13.5 million eggs per day, this is still a huge issue!
I thought I was hen friendly in my shopping I wasn’t! Doh it now seems so obvious – it is eggs in products, biscuits, pasta, cakes, mayonnaise, pastry, croissants, you name it. Whilst whole egg box labelling says ‘From caged hens’, produce doesn’t.
Have a look through you cupboards, read the labels – if it doesn’t say Free range egg or free range yolk on the label it has come from some poor little hen sat in a metal cage for the whole of their life to roll out just 1 egg per day. We are better than this?
Eating out and fast food is also a problem, they mainly serve caged hen eggs, even when they are charging you an arm and a leg! Some do mark free range on the menu, but most don’t because they aren’t. Ask them and if it is not free range don’t buy it, don’t eat it.
Decades of campaigning and most of us believe that hens are no longer kept in cages. Yes some minute progress has been made, barren cages have been replaced by ‘enriched’ cages (never has such a misuse of the english language been experienced) according to CIWF this offers no meaningful benefits to the hen. Hey decide for yourself – hmm yes it is still shit! Vegetarian or omnivore this is one of the biggest areas of animal welfare we must address.
What you can do? Buy free range eggs. Ideally Organic. Check labels of all products you buy, ask in restaurants, let people know you expect to eat free range eggs. There are companies already making a stand and they deserve our support see:
Hens spend their wholes lives in these cages. Once their egg laying rate drops off around 72 weeks they go for slaughter.