I stopped buying supermarket eggs when I learned that even organic and free range eggs don’t come from happy chickens and that free ranging means that a chicken could go outside 15 minutes per day.
Every second of every day, somewhere in the world the same scene unfolds.
A batch of several hundred eggs, precisely arranged in uniform rows, moves along a conveyor belt, coming to a halt beneath a machine linked to a jumble of tubes.
Once in position, the machine robotically lowers itself and then simultaneously punctures each egg with a rack of hypodermic needles.
Through these needles, a mix of vaccines and antibiotics is injected into the egg — and so into the unborn chick inside, which three days later will hatch out. If the scene sounds like something from a science-fiction film, then that is hardly a surprise. Today, large-scale poultry production has precious little to do with green fields and ruddy-cheeked farmers.
Every year, more than 40 billion chickens are slaughtered worldwide for meat, the vast majority of them intensively factory-farmed. The bottom line is profit. All that matters is the volume in which these animals, bred to hit their genetically-modified slaughter weights within 35 days of hatching, can be churned out.
I was surprised to read this because European countries generally have much better food safety and animal protection laws.