Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Why we should not eat unfertilized, free range eggs

If you are thinking, "Well, unfertilized, truly free range eggs should be fine... this was from my local farm and I know exactly how well they are treated, or I raise my own hens in great conditions. No roosters, and the hens are allowed to live out their natural lifespan and not slaughtered." This makes sense, it really seems like there is no cruelty. However, there is a strange but real fact that many people do not know - unfertilized eggs can develop and hatch.

The term for this is called "Parthenogenesis". Parthenogenesis is the embryonic development of an unfertilized egg, and has been observed in many animals including turkeys and chickens.

Olsen and Marsden accidentally discovered naturally occurring parthenogenesis in turkeys at the Agricultural Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland. They found that 14% of the infertile eggs laid by Beltsville Small White (BSW) turkeys developed parthenogenetically.

Poole and Olsen observed Cornish hens for parthenogenesis. They macroscopically examined eggs incubated 10 d from 3 different strains of Dark Cornish hens. They found that 21.9% of the total hen population laid at least 1 egg that contained parthenogenetic development.

Parker and McDaniel studied chinese painted quail eggs and found that 27% of the quail population laid at least 1 egg that exhibited parthenogenetic development. Of the 81 hens that laid eggs containing embryonic development, 30 hens were responsible for laying at least 2 or more eggs that exhibited parthenogenesis. In fact, 2 hens were responsible for producing 5 embryos from 20 unfertilized eggs.
For detailed information about the study please go to this link.

Below is a screen shot of another study that shows parthenogenesis in chickens.
















Here's another screenshot of a study on parthenogenetic chicks.


It doesn't make a difference anymore whether it is a fertilized egg or not a fertilized egg. Here lies still, a potential in eating a dead embryo who didn't develop properly, or one that could hatch into a chick. Are eggs vegetarian then? I would say no. The easiest way to avoid this dilemma is don't eat eggs.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why not just commit suicide. That way you won't be responsible for killing all those insects and microorganisms when you step on them each day.
But seriously...you won't eat eggs because of parthenogenesis potential? What about all those plants you kill? Or you think plant life is not sacred? Did you know that plants are sentient?

Anonymous said...

What rubbish! Vegans are responsible for hundreds of thousands of small animal deaths when they tear open land to plant their bloody kale.
Do the research you friggin hypocrite.

Unknown said...

If vegan harms animal because of their diet, then meat eating cause 10 times more harm. Meat production costs 10 times more plants food. come on, Don't be illogical to justify your greed. We can tell who is more greedy by looking at who eats more than they should at a buffet. I don't get the idea that if someone can not avoid causing some harm to some being indirectly, they will cause whatever harm they want to fulfil their greed.

Anonymous said...

This is stupid. If we do as you say and not eat eggs at all then that means we'll have more chickens in the world. Earth is running out of resources just for us humans as we are over populating, I don't think we can hold any more animals as well as humans. Fair enough not eating the chickens but even the eggs, thats just ridiculous.

... said...

Anonymous, that's utterly stupid. If we didn't eat eggs then there would be no demand and we would have FEWER chickens in the world. Most chickens are raised by commercial companies, which would decide not to hatch any more chickens or slaughter them outright until they had no flocks left. Chickens would only be raised for slaughter in the case you suggest, or for pets/zoos if we stopped eating them and their products altogether.

From an ecology standpoint, it makes sense to stop eating the meat as you can get far more protein from a hen through eggs than raising the whole bird just to slaughter and eat it once it is fat enough. A lot of resources are wrapped up, after all, in the hatching to adulthood stage where most growth occurs. However, even compared to eggs, plant sources will always be more efficient where resources are concerned. However, if we're growing them in vertical farms, then I have no objection.

Anonymous said...

i dunno, ive been raising chickens and eating the eggs and i like them. i recently found a start of what could be a chicken wing tip about an inch long. i picked it out and made a nice egg in the microwave. i also agree that killing plants is no less "evil" than eating chickens or eggs. To say eating beef is some percent worse than something else is childish and irresponsible.

and with the recent news that egg cholesterol is way less harmfull that once thought, bring them yummy eggs on!

Anonymous said...

Eggs have the potential to give birth to a chick. By eating eggs we are obstructing the natural process of growth of a chicken. Regarding plants, this world is created in such a way that for survival some violence is involved like for example breathing may kill micro organisms, vegetarian foods involves causing pain to plants, or even death of a plant. But the principle which a civilized human follows is to minimize the violence as much as possible.Most of the vegetarian foods doesn't involve killing a plant. There are levels of consciousness in living organisms. When a plant is killed it will not experience that much pain which a chicken experience when it is killed. Now some one may say that when we removing eggs from the chicken we are not causing pain to anyone. Then at least think in terms of personal cleanliness. Where do the egg come from? Are we going to eat embryo of a b ird which comes from its most dirtiest part. All of us are born unclean (the way we come out) but humans are given intelligence to lead clean life internally and externally. I hope I didn't hurt anyone with my answer, if it does plz forgive.

Anonymous said...

If eating beef is not worse than eating chicken then eating a friend of yours is also not worse than eating beef or chicken. To distinguish between animals is maturity, unable to distinguish is childish. Cow urine, cow dung are pure and cow is an animal in mode of goodness. Her consciousness is very much developed and the pain she experiences is as much as a human being experiences. Stop eating at least beef. If you see the videos how cows are killed for beef you will cry tears.

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