If anyone still believes that "organic" eggs are a humane choice, please look at these gut-wrenching photos from the Organic Valley farm in Wisconsin: They show birds in stinking, stifling, windowless warehouses, crammed so tightly together that they're barely able to move—much less spread their wings, scratch in the dirt, or interact normally in any way.
The heartbreaking photos were released by a farm-policy research group called The Cornucopia Institute in a report called "Scrambled Eggs," which details the entrenched abuse in industrial-scale egg factories.
Like many other facilities that raise pullets (young birds), this house in Southwest Wisconsin confines the animals, granting no outdoor access whatsoever, and provides virtually no natural light in the building. This house raises young birds for Organic Valley. Photo by The Cornucopia Institute.
36,000 birds in an aviary system in Wisconsin, supplying Chino Valley Ranchers. The hens also have access to an outdoor run. Photo by The Cornucopia Institute.
As the pictures attest, "organic" doesn't mean that birds are allowed to be free. Chickens can still be crammed into steel wire cages the size of a record cover and forced to suffer through having a part of their beak cut off, just like birds on factory farms. But "organic" does mean that the chickens aren't fed antibiotics—leaving them all the more susceptible to illness in the filthy, poorly ventilated, crowded conditions.
The outside view of a 60,000 bird “organic” henhouse in Pennsylvania. The other side of the building has a small grassy porch as “outdoor access.” Photo by The Cornucopia Institute.
A two-story henhouse with tens of thousands of organic hens inside. The small, enclosed porch on the first floor provides “outdoor access” for the chickens on the second floor as well—it is accessible via a ramp that leads chickens down, single-file. Photo by The Cornucopia Institute.
Break the cycle of cruelty in your own life by choosing vegan alternatives to eggs, meat, and dairy products. Call 1-888-VEG-FOOD or order a free copy of our vegetarian/vegan starter kit today.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor