by Allie Molinaro
National Egg Day is a day intended to celebrate the significance of eggs in many people's lives and throughout history. However, we must remember the animals behind the eggs—hens. These free-spirited creatures deserve our recognition, compassion, and a life free from cruelty. In honor of National Egg Day, Compassion in World Farming invites you to join us in shedding light on the plight of hens and advocating for their welfare.
Progress for Hens
Thanks to the collective efforts of Compassion in World Farming, forward-thinking companies, legislators, and dedicated animal activists and organizations across the country, we have seen significant progress in laying hen welfare in recent years. To date, ten states—Arizona, California, Colorado, Michigan, Utah, Nevada, Oregon, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Washington—have passed policies to ban the production and/or sale of eggs from hens raised in cages. Additionally, over 200 US companies have committed to transitioning to 100% cage-free egg supply by 2025 or sooner. Several of these companies, including Whole Foods, Raley's, B.Good, Blue Apron, and Meijer, are already 100% cage-free. Today, nearly 40% of all egg-laying hens in the United States now live cage-free, a substantial increase from just 15% eight years ago. This positive change signifies a growing recognition of the need to improve the lives of these remarkable animals.
The Reality for Hens
Despite the progress made, nearly 200,000 hens in the US continue to endure a life of confinement within cages. Trapped in a system that prioritizes productivity over their well-being, these hens suffer both physically and mentally. They are denied the opportunity to express natural behaviors such as perching on branches or dustbathing, experiencing sunlight, mothering chicks, or flying. Tragically, once they are considered "spent" at about two years of age, they are typically killed, without ever knowing a life beyond confinement.
Honoring Hens Instead
At Compassion in World Farming, we believe that "National Egg Day" is a bit like celebrating the art without celebrating the artist. Instead, we choose to honor hens, the real stars of the day, by reconnecting with the origins of our food and by fighting for the compassion these birds deserve. Hens are remarkable creatures with individual personalities, emotions, and a desire for a life free from suffering. It's time we recognize their inherent value as stewards of the Earth and work towards creating a more compassionate world for all animals.
How You Can Make a Difference
You can play an essential role in improving the lives of hens and supporting the cause of animal welfare. Here are a few ways to get involved:
- Spread the Message: Help raise awareness by sharing the message to honor hens on social media. Use the hashtags #HonoringHens and #ThankAHen to raise awareness and encourage others to join the cause.
- Choose Cage-Free: When purchasing eggs, opt for cage-free options. By supporting companies that prioritize the welfare of hens, you contribute to the demand for more humane farming practices. Or, try plant-based egg alternatives and egg substitutes for recipes. In many cases, eggs can be replaced in cooking or baking recipes with other easy-to-find ingredients, such as bananas, ground flaxseed, peanut butter, and chia seeds.
- Support Compassion in World Farming: Consider making a donation to our organization. Your generous contributions enable us to continue our vital work in advocating for hens and other farm animals.
On this National Egg Day, let's shift our focus from simply eggs to the hens behind them. Together, we can raise awareness, promote change, and create a world where hens and all farm animals are treated with the compassion they deserve. Join Compassion in World Farming in honoring hens today and every day. Together, let's be the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.