Making kind choices in your everyday life.

Living without eggs

Posted by on Mar 15, 2014 in Eggs | 2 comments

“The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them, that’s the essence of inhumanity” – George Bernard Shaw

 

male chick

Photo from Animals Australia

 

Even with the free-est of free range eggs available as discussed in my last post, some people still choose to banish eggs from their diet. Why so ?

As with the dairy issue, the avoidance of eggs on animal welfare grounds does, at first glance, seem a bit far fetched and fanatical . Alas, as with so many of these animal and environmental issues, the more you read and educate yourself, the clearer (and less nutty!) such choices become.

The factors about egg production which have weighed on my moral, still egg eating, brow are these ones :

* Male chicks are killed in their first day of life by being gassed or ground up alive. They are considered to be waste products of the egg industry and 12 million baby chicks lose their lives like this each year in Australia. This happens in hatcheries which go on to provide chicks to backyard chook owners, battery cage “farms” and organic / free range farms. So, unless you hatch your own eggs and keep the baby chick regardless of its gender, this is what we are buying into. Rather arrogant and cruel of us.

* The egg is the end result of the hen’s menstruation cycle –  the eating of which is, therefore, a bit gross.

* With a growing population and shrinking arable farming land, how can our insatiable demand for eggs be humanely  met ? This is usually the battery hen farmers feeble argument to defend their cruel practice but there is some validity in it. In the ideal world, where all egg laying hens were free with ample room to move, where are they all going to go ?? You can help reduce humans’ greedy demand by reducing your own usage.

 * Even in the free range / organic egg world, hens are sent to slaughter when they cease being an economically viable commodity. This equates from 18 months to 3 years (when their egg production wanes) when they would, if it wasn’t for us, live to around 10 years. No matter how idyllic their free range roaming life was, the end result (ie the abbattoir)  is not a good one. And what a way to repay an animal for providing her eggs to us for her short life.

So, what on earth can little ol’ you do ??……….

Reduce / eliminate eggs from your diet. It is actually surprisingly easy to use less eggs.  When baking, I use either No Egg or Chia Seeds as a replacement. You can also use apple sauce, bananas, flax seeds or silken tofu as detailed here. All cheaper and healthy options which do work as binders very well.

You can make everything typically made with eggs……..sans eggs…….from Scrambled TofuChickpea Omelettes (have made these, big thumbs up), mayonnaise zucchini frittersegg nogfrittatas (vouched for as being delicious and eerily frittata like !) to banana bread……you can even make creme brulee. There is a wonderful ingredient known as black salt too (which is actually pink !) which you can buy from any Indian grocer. It gives everything a convincing sulfuric-y egg like flavour (and that eggy farty smell!).

Do not fear the “Vegan” options : Many of these products taste every bit of good as what you may consider the “real thing”. I have yet to try and make my own mayonnaise (languishing on the “to do one day” list) so I buy “Organic Egg Free Mayo“. I challenge you to do a taste test between this one and the normal, egg filled one as you will be struggling to tell the difference.

Buy Kindly and Thoughtfully : Be mindful when you are eating out that the vast majority of eateries will be using caged eggs in their dishes and as ingredients. Do not be coy to ask if there are any egg free options or simply ask for them to not include the egg in a particular dish (eg : Pad Kee Mao – tastes no different without eggs). Or choose to eat somewhere that gives you more egg free options……

I am a big fan of those little, thoughtful companies who do the right thing by the animals. It is much more satisfying to hand over your money to those who support cruelty free initiatives in their delicious treats than those who do not care. If you get a chance, indulge yourself with something scrumptious from one of these little, kind, local businesses :

* Mad Hatter Cup Cakery in Darlinghurst, Sydney. Divine animal product free cup cakes in cute surrounds. My fella recently rated their triple chocolate cupcake as the best he has ever had. (Update – sadly they have recently closed but “like” them on facebook and some delicious egg free baking recipes will come to you).

* Addiction Food. They make sublime brownies, truffles, slices etc and support nice charities like Sea Shepherd. Widely available, mainly in Sydney.

* Gingerbread Folk : Blue Mountains based company who make egg free gingerbread treats.

* Rubyfruit : The only bad thing about this place is that it is far from me, in Leura. I have visited here numerous times and every thing I have eaten here from pies to cupcakes is heavenly.

* Mister Nice Guy’s Bakeshop : In Melbourne (sigh) and the scene of where I learnt just how good (actually, superior), plant based baking could be.

Not food related but relevant all the same…..the Jumping for Joy series by  photographer Tamara Kenneally will bring you greeting cards or posters teeming with images of happy rescued battery hens literally leaping with joy. I have some packs of greeting cards on stand by – they are suitable for all occasions – new baby, birthdays etc and are gorgeous. Plus, they help fund Tamara’s work which involves photographing factory farmed animals to help expose this cruel, hidden world.

Label Stalk : Omigoodness, when you become a seasoned label stalker you will realise just how many products that eggs are actually in. Unless stated otherwise (exceedingly rare)….these eggs will have come from a hideous battery cage facility. Who wants to unravel all their good work by seeking out the best free range eggs or eliminating them, only to find that they are unwittingly consuming caged eggs via their mayonnaise, pastry, wine, hot cross buns, muffins, cake mix and the list goes on…. ? Try and avoid these items, and substitute with kinder options, or make your own versions, it is easier than you think !

Rescue some ex battery hens : If you are keen to keep a few eggs in your diet and want to do it in the kindest way possible, this would have to be the best way of doing it (and you by-pass the buying from the male chick killing hatchery dilemma). You would need to be willing to accept an unreliable and low supply of eggs and to care for the chooks for their lifespan and tend to any health issues they may come with. I am sure that the rewards of giving a few of these poor girls a taste of the good life, in exchange for the odd egg, would be plentiful. It is something I would love to do.  NSW Hen Rescue is the go to place to adopt ex battery hens in NSW. Homes for Hens is based in Brisbane and they have some great information on the page about caring for ex battery hens. My first point of call would be one of the many fantastic animal sanctuaries we have in Australia who will be able to point you in the right direction and/or enable you to adopt from them. These sanctuaries include Little Oak Sanctuary near Canberra, Edgars Mission in Victoria and A Poultry Place and Signal Hill Sanctuary in Yass, NSW.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Comments

Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Andy

    Less eggs?! ..do-able
    Ax

Leave a Reply to Andy Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *