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Vegetarian Eggs?!?

September 3, 2009

I was shopping in ShopRite yesterday on a whirlwind trip to pick up a few items for my sick, but getting better son when I arrived at the egg cooler.  I reached down to the shelf where the “cage free” eggs usually are, saw a “sale” tag, got very excited, then got immediately crushed to discover my favorite eggs were sold out.  Stupid sale!  While I stood hesitating for just a moment pondering what to do, I noticed a father with his children hesitating next to me as well.  “Vegetarian eggs?  What the heck are vegetarian eggs?” he said.  I immediately quipped back, “Oh, its the chickens that are vegetarians.”  Impressed with my cute reply I started to walk away when he said back, “Aren’t all chickens vegetarians.” Uh, oh.  Quick think!  Are they? Remember back to USDA time – what do chickens eat?  Then, smartly I said, “Well, not the ones in the big factories that eat ground up dead other chickens.” I quickly walked away before I could be labeled a wacko.

Then all day it bothered me.  What was a vegetarian egg anyway?  Do chickens really eat other chickens or was that something the vegans I met in college just made up to scare us away from eggs?  A quick investigation on google confirmed my suspicions.  Vegetarian eggs are fed a strictly veggie diet – grains, grass that sort of thing.  I thought that sounded great at first, but here’s a quick pro/con of the idea:

Pro:

Vegetarian chickens don’t eat any dead remains of other chickens, which is something that factory chickens are fed.  Its not kinda…its really gross and inhumane and can spread diseases more easily.

Con:

Chickens are actually meat eaters in a sense – they eat grubs, worms and insects as part of their normal diet.  So, vegetarian chickens actually have to be kept inside so that they are restricted from eating such chicken delicacies.  They are totally dependent on a farmer for food.

Conclusion:

I will not be switching to vegetarian eggs.  I’m sticking with the cage free or locally purchased eggs.  At least that way I know that those chickens see daylight from time to time and get a little exercise finding their food.

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