Response to a ‘welfare’ survey about hens used for eggs
An Egg Production Article from

FROM There's an Elephant in the Room blog
January 2017

Here is why I cannot respond to your survey about the 'welfare' of hens in the egg industry... I could not ask anyone to comment on the conditions in which the unnecessary victims of nonveganism are used.

Hen Missy
Missy, rescued from a 'Free Range' facility - Image from Eden Farmed Animal Sanctuary

Hen Joy
Joy, rescued from an ‘Enriched’ Cage - Image from Go Vegan World

There’s an Elephant in the Room was recently contacted by a veterinary student with a request to complete a survey on the ‘welfare’ of hens in the egg industry. I did not complete it and have declined to promote it. Sharing my response...

‘Thank you for contacting me. I have viewed your survey and felt that my reason for not completing or promoting it warranted an explanation.

As a vegan activist, I got full marks in all categories. This emphasises that I am all too well aware of the facts surrounding the conditions in which humanity’s victims are exploited but these are not the reason why I am vegan and neither are they the reason why I promote veganism.

‘Welfare’ is a word that is much-overused by the exploitation industries and by those who promote and support them. It’s a word that carries within it the suggestion of concern for wellbeing and pastoral care. The reality of the matter is that the exploitation of sentient individuals as commercial resources, and any sort of ‘concern’ for their wellbeing are mutually exclusive conditions as I’m sure you are already aware or will soon discover. ‘Improving welfare’ is a ploy used – and celebrated loudly – by the industries that trade in the lives and bodies of sentient individuals and their media marketers, to soothe consumer consciences and thereby increase demand and revenue.

The industry will continue to go through this charade of concern for as long as human consumers consider that they have a right and a need to inflict catastrophic harm on helpless and innocent members of nonhuman species for reasons that can never be morally justified.

There is, in fact, no need for nonhuman animal consumption or use at all. Egg consumption, in common with the consumption of all substances derived from the lives and bodies of nonhuman animals, is a contributory factor to the epidemic of disease that is currently gripping the western world, the vast majority of which is related to inappropriate diet. If you are interested in knowing more on this, then the following site provides links to all the latest medical research and evidence on this topic

However, to return to my explanation, there are some practices that are deeply wrong from a moral standpoint and all use of nonhumans falls into that category. They are sentient individuals whose every right is disregarded in order that we may use them as if they were objects and commodities.

An analogy to the questions your survey poses would be if I were to be consulted about the abuse and harming of humans and asked to reveal the extent of my knowledge of the environment in which it was taking place and whether that affected my view of the practice. It wouldn’t. Wrong is wrong, no matter what the environment.

I hope this provides some insight into the reason that I shall neither complete nor promote the survey. I could not ask anyone to comment on the conditions in which the unnecessary victims of nonveganism are used as resources because to do so implies that there are ‘better’ and ‘worse’ ways to commit what amounts to a fundamental atrocity.

I have written extensively on all of these topics within my blog site and this is the link to a piece about eggs - Talking About Eggs. You will note that this in turn links to a number of sources and I should like to draw your attention to this report Egg Production: Enriched Cages and Embodied Prisons that examines in depth the effect that the promotion of ‘welfare’ issues has on consumers.

In conclusion, may I say that whilst there are relatively few of them, there are some veterinary professionals who are vegan and it is an area that is crying out for more people of conscience. I am confident that my friends at Veterinary Vegan Network would be delighted to discuss this issue with you.’

It’s not how or where we treat our victims that is the issue.

The issue is that we have victims.

Stop having victims. Be vegan.

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